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Where the Fishers Go 




(Member of the Historical Society) of No'va. Scotia.) 




Q^p jrat!)er 

— A Pioneer of the Northland — 

0^p gioti)er 

— My Earliest Teacher — 


An Expression of Love and Gratitude 


Their Unfailing Guidance. Synnpathy, and 



Labrjulor — "where the fishers go" — has ever Ijeen to me a land of 
fascination : in early days it was "the Hesperides of my youthful 
dreams" ; and when in springtime I heard the thud of the mallet 
and caulking-iron, and watched the departure of the fleet which does 
business in great waters, I longed to sail away to the land of myriad 
charms. But the fates were unpropitious then ; and not till I had 
served my missionary apprenticeship did I visit the land where 

"There are magic lures in tire open air, 
There are wondrous thing's for the eyes." 

In the interim I had seen the white cliffs of "Old England" ; I had 
gazed upon the snow-clad Alpine ranges ; I had looked out upon the 
historic plains of Lombardy ; and I had stood in wonderment before 
"the vast and wondrous Dome, to which Diana's marvel was a cell" ; 
but yet there came, irresistibly, the call of the Northland. I have 
oft since then visited the fishers' land ; and I love this land of griev- 
ing winds. 

The trip to Labrador is unique : to the denizen of the grimy city, 
it bespeaks restful days ; to the busy man-of-affairs, it discloses pos- 
sibilities undreamed of; to the invalid, it brings the balmy breeze of 

The artist is already afield to sketch the iceberg and the beetling 
crag, as 

"The startled waves leap o'er it ; the storm 
Smites it with all the scourges of the rain. 
And steadily against its solid form 
Press the giant shoulders of the hurricane." 

To all who revel in the sterner aspects of Nature the trip from St. 
John's — the Capital of the "Ancient Colony" — is delightful : the sea, 
smiling and dimpling under the summer sun, is bewitching, as it 
stretches away to embrace the distant horizon. Overhead huge 
masses of fleecy clouds move in silent majesty across the summer 
sky, while, hard by, grim, hoary headlands stand like sentinels frown- 
ing defiance upon Father Neptune's vast domain. 


What manner of land is this place "where the fishers po"? This 
is the question I shall answer in this volume. I do not claim for 
it the title of a history : it is merely a little literary fabric woven from 
facts and experiences, during the leisure moments of a busy min- 
isterial life. 

I am indebted to many friends at home and abroad for much that 
this volume contains, and I wish to express my gratefulness for their 
help and courtesy. 

I wish to thank A. P. Low, Esq., Director of the Geological Sur- 
vey of Canada, and Captain John Bartlett, the well-known arctic 
explorer, for the use of maps and photographs and valuable in- 
formation regarding the geology of the coast; Messrs. Bowers and 
Carroll of St. John's for interesting literary contributions; the Hon. 
E. .M. Jackman, Minister of Finance and Customs, and H. W. 
LeMessurier, Esq., Assistant Collector, for statistics regarding Lab- 
rador trade ; P. K. Dcvine, Esq., for data regarding early settlers ; 
Messrs. Gauvin, of Halifax, Vey, and Holloway, of St. John's, for 
their photographic services; Mr. J. P. Gleason for the use of cuts; 
Dr. Townsend, author of "Along the Labrador Coast," and Dillon 
Wallace, Esq., author of "The Long Labrador Trail," for similar 

To Dr. W. T. Grenfell I am indebted for many signal kindnesses. 
He has supplied me with many interesting photographs, and also fur- 
nished me with certain particulars of his Mission, with which I was 

I beg to acknowledge the courtesy of the Dana Estes Publishing 
Conijiany, Boston, and The Outing Publishing Company, X. Y., in 
permitting the use of copyright plates ; and I feel especially indebted 
to Mr. T. W. J. Lynch, my cartographer, and Mr. William Hems- 
worth ior their invaluable artistic services. 

The Author. 

Halifax, N. S., March 31st, 1909. 




Dedication .... 


Foreword ...... 


Introductory ..... 


"Where the Fishers Go"' 


The First Explorers of the Northland 


L'Ancien Regime .... 


The Esquimaux 


The Montagnais Indians 


The Naskopis .... 


The Struggle for Supremacy 


Settlements .... 


The Adventurers 


The Harvest 

• 54 

The Fishers 


The Genus Mercator 


The Trader 

• 76 

The Great Company 

• 83 

The Moravian Settlements 


The Missionary 

• 99 

Some Pages of Odds and Ends 

. no 

The Doctor .... 

. 118 

Wrecks and Wreckers 

• 134 

"Hills Peep O'er Hills, and Steps on Steps Arise!" 

• 143 

Forest and Stream . 

. 156 


a)X'i"EX rs. 

Hunters' I'aradise . 

]m\'sIi l-iclds an<l I'a-^turo Xcw 

The l-\-atlK'rc(l Trihc 

III tlK- Straits of IJelle l>ic 

rp thr Shore 

(ioiiii; N'orth 

Indian I larhor to I iopedale 

l**arthest North 


A|)i)en(h\ I. Customs C'iroular 

Ai)i)en(hx II. Xewfoundhuid Postal 

Appenchx III. An ( Hitline Hi l<ir 

Labrador .... 
.Appendix 1\'. Kxport Statistics 
Appendix \ , Luxuries of Labor 
Appendix \'L Moravian Mission Grants 

relegraphic Service 
of the M. 1). S. P. on 








Carbonear .... 




Labrador Currency .... 


S. S. "Neptune" 


Grim, Hoary Headlands 


Exploits, Notre Dame Bay 


A Field of Ice .... 


A Bit of the Coast . 


An Old French Room 


Lake Michikamau 


A Miniature Glacier Near Hopedale 


Viking Ship .... 


Icelandic Map of the Northland 


Castaldi's Map 




Cortereal's Map 


Pistolet's Map .... 


Jacques Cartier 


Arch Rock, Catalina 


Esquimau Tepik .... 


Kenamou Esquimaux Woman 


Esquimaux Women at Ungava 


Building the Kayak 




Komatik and Dogs 




Igloo wik 

The Tapoosc 

Ksquiniaux in Kayaks 

Lake Mickiniau 

Montagnais Indians 

Montapjnais Women 

Nasko[)i Pioy . 


St. John's, Looking luislward 

The French Ros^inie 

Plain.s of Abraham, Quebec 

A Fishinj;:^ Room of the Ancient > 

St. John's Harlx)!' in Winter 

A Trader 

St. Pierre 

A Canadian Trader 


The Old Rec^inie . 

A "Tow" 

Mammoth Codfish 

A "Room" 

A Labrador Mansion 

An "Old Timer" 


.\ Newfoundland Outport 

Torbay, an Outport 

A Newfoundland Outport 

The Toilers 

Trinity .... 



• 85 


. 87 

The Moravian Mission Station at Hopedale. Labrador 

. 88 

Indian Hut at Hopedale ..... 

• 96 

Esquimaux Types at Hopedale 

• 97 


• ?^ 

. 107 

The Strathcona .... 

. Ill 

Dr. Grenfell Attending Fishennen . 

. 114 

Co-operative Store .... 

. 117 

Reindeer Herd .... 

. 121 

The Albert 

. 122 

The Strathcona of the M. D. S. F. 

• 123 

A Perambulating Providence . 

. 124 

A Magistrate Settling Little Matters 

• 125 


. 126 

Dr. Grenfell's Herd 


St. Paul's Inlet .... 


Battle Harbor 




Foreigners ..... 


Devil's Dining Table 


Indian Harbor .... 


Rowsell's Harbor .... 


"Hinderland," Near Lake Michikamau 


Northv^est River 


Indian Burial Ground .... 


A Bit of the Interior .... 


A Whaler 




A Whale Factory 
i'ort Aux Basques 
Ready for the Carving 
A Norwegian W lialer 
A Leviathan 
Skinning Seals 
"The Three Sisters," First Sealin- l!ri 

A Scaler 

Captain Kean, a Successful Sealer 

"The Bos'n's Watch*' 

Sealers Ready for Start 

The Beacon 

A Polar Bear 

A Stag . 

Carihou Crossing a Lake 

Caribou Heads 

Shapes Fantastic 

A r^abrador Hut 


The Great Auk 

Whitcly's Room at Bonne Fsperancc 

Salmon Hay, Straits of Belle Isle 

A Trap .... 

Dr. Grenfell at Forteau . 

A Trap SkiiT 

Indian Cove, Cape Charles 

Government House, St. Jolui's 

Parliament Building, St. John's 

Off Battle Harbor 


Battle Harbor Room .... 



The Largest Fish — Drying Flake in Labrador 


Huts at Battle Harbor 


Captain Delaney 


Battle Harbor Hospital . 


A "House on Shores" 


Culling Fish 


Venison Tickle 


A Kayak 


Dogs and Komotik 


An Esquimaux Mission 


Esquimaux Types 


Indian Harbor 


The Princess Alay 


Indian Harbor 


A Good Haul 


A Labrador Crew 


Esquimaux Children. Hopedale 


Captain Drake 


Moravian Mission at Hopedale 


Groups of Xain Esquimaux 


Esquimaux at Hopedale . 


Bound Northward . 


A Fiord 


Moravian Mission at Nain 


Ships of the Time of Charles H 


Moravian Mission at Ramah . 


Roswell's Harbor Mine 


Nachvak Fiord 



In tlu- Mountain Region 


An l">-(|uinuui (Irt)up in L'ngava 


Esquimaux in the l""ar North 


Port liurwell 


S. S. Rosahnd, of Red Cross Line 


St. John's .... 


R. C. Cathedral. St. John's 


Ang-Hcan Cathedral. St. John's 


Grower Street Methodist Church 


Harbor Grace 


Tn Trinity Bay 




Cape Honovuta 


in Xotre Dame Bay 


Tilt Cove 


The French Shore 


Bay of Islands 


Bay of Islands 


Bonne Bay 


The Old Regime 





"Now, Brothers, for the icebergs of frozen Labrador 
Floating spectral in the moonshine, along the low, black shore ! 
Where in the mist the rock is hiding, and the sharp reef lurks below. 
And the white squall smites in summer, and the autumn tempests 

blow ; 
Where, through gray and rolling vapor, from evening unto morn, 
A thousand boats are hailing, horn answering unto horn."' 

"The Fishermen," Whittier. 

s. s. NEPTUNE. Photo, Vej. 
My first trip to Labrador, in 1890, was a voyage de plaisir; my 
subsequent voyages were missionary tours among the fishermen and 
the permanent settlers, with jurisdiction over nearly one thousand 
miles of coast-line. In the year 1891 I embarked, on luy first mis- 
sionary voyage, in the sealing steamer Neptune under the command 
of my friend Captain Samuel Blandford (now the Hon. Captain Sam- 
uel, M.L.C.) — one of the most genial and capable master mariners 
in Newfoundland. A northeaster chilled the air as we steamed out 
of the harbor of St. John's on the afternoon of the 25th of May, 
bound for the Straits of Belle Isle. Passing down the shore, under 
the shadow of Cuckold's Head and the Sugar-loaf, there were no 
scenes of softened beauty, no wave-kissed, pebbly strands; "no up- 
land slopes in emerald clad" ; for snow-capped the grim, hoary head- 
lands were silhouetted against a leaden sky. We passed within hail- 
ing distance of Cape St. Francis, and heard the dull, deep moan of 


the Brandies, as if tlicy were cliantinej a requiem for the souls of 
tlieir Countless victims. We enter Conception Bay and the scene 
changes ; — 

"TIk' t\\ili.i,'lit is sad and cloudy. 

The wind blows wild and free 

And. like the wings of sea-birds, 

l-"lash the white-caps of the sea." 

Soon, away to starboard, we see the gleam of a beacon through the 
deep purple of the twilight and then the spectral contour of IVestern 
Head looms up in the distance. "Right bells!"' we are in BaccaJien 

c.Ri.M. ii(K\KV iii:ai)F..\.\I).s. Photo. Holhneax. 

"Tickle." ("'Tickle" is a local name for strait.) iJaccalieu i>land is 
now close aboard ; and upon its northeast corner we catch a glimpse 
of the lighthouse "steadfast, serene, immovable," which "year after 
year, through all the silent night" sends its lurid gleams to warn the 
mariner of the dangers of the deep. 


"The Tickle" is reminiscent of grim and mournful tragedies ; for 
it was here that the ill-fated S. S. "Lion," having on board one 
hundred souls, disappeared mysteriously on a December night in 
1880. But a more prosperous voyage is ours, for at midnight we 
were abreast of the "Horsechops," the outpost of the beautiful har- 
bor of Trinity — one of the most picturesque ports in the world ; it is 
surpassed only by Melbourne, in size, but excelled by none in its 
attractiveness. At noon of the following day we steamed out of the 
Southwest Arm of Trinity ; and when "eight bells" sounded again, 
we had passed the Spillars [Lcs Epilicrs of the Breton sailors), and 
were soon abreast of the land of Cabot — and controversy — Cape 

Before leaving the bridge I heard our commander give orders to 
the watch: "North — half-east; and look out for ice!" 


Next morning dawned bright and clear ; and the sea was calm and 
clear as crystal : 

"Ah ! what pleasant visions haunt me 

As I gaze upon the sea, 

All the old romantic legends. 

All my dreams come back to me." 

At "coffee-time," in the near distance, lay Fogo Island, around 
which traditions of Pamela have cast the glamour of romance ; and 
away to the west we saw the dim contour of the coast-line of Notre 
Dame Bay. within whose confines are found some of the most enter- 
prising towns in the Ancient Colony — Tunllini^ate, whose commercial 


importance dates from the befjinning of the Eighteenth Century, — 
Exploits, the greatest shiphuihHng center, — and Tilt Cove, whose 
sujjply of copper is seemingly inexhaustible. 

During the day we kcj)! the land aboard ; and between "dark and 
duckish" (the fishermen's term ior twilight), another light peered 
out of the gloom ; it was Cull Island, of Cape John. This "light 
far out to sea" recalls one of the saddest stories in colonial annals , 
and as it beams forth the sudden radiance of its light, "with strange, 
unearthly splendor in its glare," it speaks of a tragedy whose grue- 
some story is thus recorded : — "On Tuesday morning, the 6th of De- 
cember, 1867. the "Queen of Swansea," having on board mail and 
passengers for the mining settlement at Tilt Cove, Notre Dame Bay, 
sailed from St. John's. As night closed in a terrific gale arose, and 
the brave little vessel, after hours of combat with wind and waves, 
was driven one hundred and sixty miles to sea. After several days 
of the most terrible hardship the vessel was cast upon the rocks on 
Gull Island. All the crew and passengers landed safely on the deso- 
late island. Three of the crew and one of the passengers returned 
to the vessel to procure food ; while they were on board, the vessel 
drifted out to sea, and was never after heard of. After days of un- 
told suffering from hunger, thirst, and cold, the awful alternative 
was at last resorted to — of drawing lots to see who would be sacri- 
ficed as food. The lot fell to one of the unfortunate ladies — there 
were two among the passengers, — when her brother, who was one 
of the party, instantly offered himself instead. The note-book of 
this brave and gallant young man, containing an account of this ter- 
rible moment, has unfortunately been lost from among the papers. 

Dr. F. Dowsley, who had been appointed to the medical staff of 
the Tilt Cove Mine, and who was among the passengers, and, conse- 
quently perished with the rest, tells in two letters the sufferings en- 
dured by him and his unfortunate associates until death mercifully 
released them. A most singular incident in this tragedy is the means 
by which the remains were discovered. In April of the following 
year, while a man and a boy were gunning in the direction of the 
island, their attention was attracted to the peculiar movements of a 
bird which kept flying from the island toward them, and then back 
again to the island. At last, coming within gunshot, the man fired, 
when the bird flew to the island and fell. On landing to secure it. 


what must have been their horror to find beside it the skeletons of 
two human beings ! Near-by, covered by a piece of old canvas, 
locked in each other's arms, probably for the sake of the temporary 
warmth thus afforded, were found the frozen bodies of the remainder 
of the party. On further search the letters of Dr. Dowsley and Capt. 
Owens were found. These letters are too gruesome to transcribe ; 
but, the following excerpt records the terrible sufferings endured 
by these unfortunate castaways : — 

"I have been out to see if there might be any chance of a rescue ; 
but no such thing. I am almost mad with thirst ; I would give all 
I ever saw for one drink of water, but I shall never get it. We are 
all wet and frozen. I am now going under the canvas to lie down 
and die. May God have pity and mercy on my soul." (Harvey, 

We passed within short distance of the island , and as it was 
disappearing from view I retired with visions of wrecks and disaster 
whirling through my brain. Next morning very early, " 'bout ha'f- 
pas' two, t'ree, four," I was unceremoniously hurled from my berth 
by a terrible bump as if the ship had struck a cliff; it was only a 
"growler" ; we were in the ice, in the neighborhood of the Groats 
Islands. Our progress now was slow, but the monotony was some- 
what relieved by the novelty of seeing occasional "sculps" and seal 
carcasses, the remnants of some sealer's "pan" during the "swillin." 

During the day we dodged numerous pans, making fair progress, 
till, toward evening, we "lay to." Night came on ; 

"And sinking silently, the little moon 
Dropped down behind the sky." 

Next morning through a thick mist the lookout spied land ahead ; 
this was Belle Isle, the ancient "Isola di Demoni." It certainly de- 
served this appellation, as it seemed to me in the gray morning mist 
a decidedly uncanny place. This Island has an evil reputation ; and 
it is the "graveyard" of many a staunch fishing smack and steamer. 
Here we landed a "crew" with a "fit out" for the summer fishery. 
In the meantime the Captain and I climbed up the precipitous cliff, 
along a sinuous path which leads to the upper lighthouse (there is 
another at the base of the cliflf), where we received a hearty welcome 
from the worthy keeper, Mr. Colton, and his amiable wife. 

Our visit was brief, as the shrill siren of the ship soon announced 


that all was ready for our departure ; and within an hour w^e were 
steaming with the up-lide toward our destination — Blanc Sablon. 
Rut the hest-laid plans of mice and captains oft panj::: aglee ; we soon 
ran into a foj^-hank, ice. and jrlooin. We reached anchorage, — some- 
where near Ji'cst St. Modcstc, on the West side of Pimvare Bay. 
With the coming dawn we again moved westward, passing Capstan 
Island, the "Battery." and IJansc a Loufy. and met the full force of 
the ebb tide from Port can Bay, otT the "Shallop." For some hours 
we made little progress ; but ere the sun sank in "a blaze of glorious 
splendor," we dropped anchor in the little creek which the Breton 
mariner. Jacques Cartier, in 1534. had named L'ansc a Sablon — 
known to-day as Blanc Sablon. This is historic ground, for here 
were laid nearly four centuries ago the foundations of an empire. 

"L'itima Tluile ! Utmost Isle! 
Here in thy harbors for a while 
We lower our sail ; a while we rest." 

"Ultima Thulc," Longkkllow. 




Where the Fishers Go. 


"where the fishers go." 

'Here amid the icebergs, rule I the nations." 

"TJic Saga of King Olaf," Longfellow. 

A BIT OF the coast. 

LABRADOR is that immense peninsula lying east of the Domin- 
ion of Canada, whose boundaries are : — on the North, — 
Hudson Bay and Hudson Sttait; — on the East, the Atlantic 
Ocean ; — on the South, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Straits of 
Belle Isle. It extends from 49° N. Latitude to 63° , and lies be- 
tween the 55th and 79th meridians. Its dimensions are vast, and it 
has a coast-line of nearly iioo miles. 

The greatest breadth of the Peninsula of Labrador 
AREA, is 600 miles, and its area is equal to the areas of the 
British Isles, France, and .Austria combined. Only the 
eastern portion belongs to the jurisdiction of Newfoundland; the 
remainder now forms a part of the Province of Quebec. The Un- 
gava section was attached to the Province of Quebec during the last 
session of the Federal Parliament. The boundaries between New- 
foundland and Canada are thus defined in the "Letters Patent con- 


2 \\iii-:ki-: thi-: 1'isi]i:ks r.n. 

stitutinjx the Office of ("lovernor and Conimander-iii-Chief of the 
Island of Newfoundland" ; — 

"We have thouj^ht fit to constitute and order and declare that there 
shall be a Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over our Island 
of Newfoundland, and the islands adjacent, and all the coast of 
Labrador, from the entrance of Hudson's Straits to a line to be 
drawn due north and south from Anse Sablon on the said coast, to 
the fifty-second degree of north Latitude, and all the islands adja- 
cent to that part of the said coast of Labrador, as also of all forts 
and garrisons erected and established, or which shall be erected and 
established, within or on the islands and coasts aforesaid, and that 
the person who shall fill the said office of Governor shall be from 

AN OU) l"Ki:.\"(. II K()<».M. 


time to time appointed b) commission under our sign-manual and 
signet." The Western limit of the Government of Newfoundland 
is 51° 25', N. Lat., Long. 65" W. — the meridian passing through 
"Lazy Point," a little distance west of Blanc Sablon and Isle au Bois. 
The Northern boundary is in the vicinity of Cape Chidley. Some 
years ago a settlement was made by a Newfoundland firm at Port 
Bnni'ell ( Killinek). but the settler> were obliged to pay duties to the 
Canadian Ciovernment. in 1894. The line of demarcation is not yet 

WIll'.Rl': THE MSIIERS CiO. 3 

accurately defined. Difficulties have also arisen in connection with 
duties levied on a lumber Company doing business in Hamilton Inlet. 
This portion of Labrador was not always attached to Newfoundland. 
The first annexation took place after the Treaty of Paris (1763). 

While the flag of France waved over Canada the French carried 
on extensive fisheries in Labrador, near the Straits of Belle Isle, to 
which the\ attached the greatest importance. After the conquest of 
Canada, a company of Quebec merchants obtained a monopoly of 
tliese fisheries, and part of the territory was claimed en seigneurie 
by the Sieur Gardeur de Courtemanche. This was abolished in 1820. 
Until 1763, the fishing settlements on Labrador 
JLiRISDICTION. were under the jurisdiction of the Government 
of Quebec. After the cession of Canada to 
Britain, Labrador was annexed to the Government of Newfound- 
land; but ten years later (1783), owing to difficulties arising out 
of the supposed vested rights of the Sieur de Courtemanche and the 
Quebec Trading Company, the western portion of Labrador was 
restored to Canada. In 1809 it was again transferred to the juris- 
diction of Newfoundland, under which it has since remained. (Har- 
vey ; "Newfoundland.") 

The Atlantic coast is exceedingly irreg- 
FIORDS AND BANKS, ular, being deeply cut by many long, 

narrow fiords, so that the coast-line 
exceeds man}- times the distance from Belle Isle to Cape Chidley. 
Hamilton Inlet (Groswater Bay) is the largest and longest of these 
inlets, extending inland for one hundred and fifty miles. Among 
others, Sandzvich, Kaipokok, Saeglek, and Nachvak bays are from 
thirty to fifty miles deep. These narrow fiords are surrounded by 
rocky hills that rise abruptly from the water to heights ranging fom 
1,000 to 4,000 feet. The water of the inlets is generally deep, and 
varies from ten to one hundred fathoms. A fringe of small, rocky 
islands extends almost continuously along the coast, with a breadth 
of from five to twenty-five miles. Outside these islands, the inner 
banks extend seaward for an average distance of about fifteen miles. 
and on them the water is rarely over forty fathoms deep. 

From thi^ it will be seen that the fiords have greater depths than 
the banks outside the island fringe. To account for this apparent 
anomalv it is necessar\' to consider the formation of the fiords and 

4 w iiiiKi". Till-: i"isiii-:rs go. 

banks. The fiords appear to be valleys of (lenii<lation of very ancient 
origin, eroded, at least in part, when the elevation of the peninsula 
was considerably j^reater than at present. Their remote antiquity 
is established by the deposition in ilieir lower levels of undisturbed 
sandstone of Cambrian age. The banks are likely of comparatively 
recent formation and appear lo be made from material carried off 
the higher lands by glaciers and deposited by them as a terminal 
moraine among and outside the fringe of islands, to be subsequently 
flattened out by lloating ice and currents, thus filling up the deep 
channels at the mouths of the fiords. fCaiiaillaii CiColoi!;ical Siin-cy.) 

LAK1-: .MiciiiKiMAL". Copyriglit, Outing Tub. Co. 

The peninsula of Labrador is a high, rolling plateau, 
INTERIOR, which rises, somewhat abruptly, within a few miles 

of the coast-line, to heights between 1500 and 2500 
feet, the latter elevation being somewhat greater than the water- 
shed of the interior. The interior country is undulating, and is 
traversed by ridges of low rounded hills, that seldom rise more than 
500 feet above the general surrounding level, which is approximately 
1700 feet. 

Along the Atlantic coast, the land rises abruptly inland, almost 
everywhere, to altitudes varying from 1000 to 1500 feet, from 


the Straits of Belle Isle to the vicinity of Nain. To the northward of 
Nain the coast range is mnch hi<;her, and. in the neighborhood of 
Xaclizak Bay, ranges of sharp, unglaciated mountains rise abruptly 
from the sea to heights varying from 2500 feet ; while farther north 
they are reported to culminate in peaks of Cooo feet, a few miles 

Like the other portions of Northern Canada underlain 
LAKES, by glaciated Archean rocks, the interior of the Labra- 
dor peninsula is covered with myriads of lakes, that occu- 
py at least one-fourth of the total area. In size they vary from 
small tarns to lakes with surfaces hundreds of square miles in ex- 
tent. Great Mistassini and Mickikamaii lakes have areas exceeding 
500 square miles. Dillon AA'allace describes the latter very graphi- 
cally in "The Long Labrador Trail." 

He tells us that it is between eighty and ninctx miles long, and from 
eight to twenty-five miles in breadth. "It is surrounded by rugged 
hills which reach an elevation of about five hundred feet above the 
lake. The shores are rocky, sometimes formed of massive bed-rock 
in which is found the beautifully colored Labradorite ; sometimes 
strewn with boulders. "No artist's brush," continues our author, 
■'ever pictured such gorgeous sunsets and sunrises as nature painted 
for us here on the 'Great Lake' of the Indians. Every night the sun 
went down in a blaze of glory and left behind it all the colors of the 
spectrum. The dark hills across the lake in the west were sil- 
houetted against a sky of brilliant red which shaded off into banks 
or orange and amber that reached the azure of the zenith. 

"The waters of the lake took the reflection of the red at the horizon 
and became a flood of restless blood. The sky colorings during the 
few days (at Lake Michikamau) were the finest that I ever saw 
in Labrador, not onlv in the evening, but in the morning also." 

Mrs. Leonidas Hubbard has this, presumably 
LANDSCAPE, written as characteristic of the same section of 

the interior : — "The air was clear as crystal, and 
the water, and the greenwood, the hills and mountains with lines and 
patches of white upon them, the sky with its big, soft clouds, made 
such a combination as I had never seen except in Labrador." (A 
Woman's Way through Unknown Labrador.) 

\\iii:ki': Till-: i-ismkrs go. 

Tlie Tahlf-laiul is preeniincntly sterile, aiitl uiicrc the country is 
not l)iinK'(l. caril)()u moss covers the rocks, with stunted si)ruce, 
hirch, and aspen in tlie hollows and dee]) raxines. I he whole of the 
land is strewn with houlders. sometimes three and tour deei) ; these 
singular erractics are perciied on the summit of every mountain and 
hill, often on tlie edfjcs of clitl's . and ihey vary in size from one to 
twentv feet in diameter. Lanj^ua^e fails to depict the awful desola- 
tion of the interior of the peninsula. ( Hind, j^xi)lorations. ) 

The climate of Lahrador ran<(es from cold temperate, 
CLLMATIC. on the southern coasts, to arctic <m Hudson Strait 

and the lii,L;h lands of the north, and i^ ijenerally so 
rio-crous that it is (l(.iil)tful if the ci nntrx will ever he tit for av^ricul- 
ture. north if 51 . excejil 1 11 the low ^muuds i!e;ir ihi- < "'isi. 

A MIXI.\TLKI-: (iL.XClKK Ml.XU liOl'EDAI.l-:. 

The hii^ii lands of the interior have only two seasons, summer and 
winter, and the transition from winter to summer occurs, as a rule, 
ilurinii- the first two weeks of June. 

With the disai)pearance of snow and ice the temperature during 
the dav rajiidl) increases, and the leaves are almost immediately put 

\\hi-:rk the fishers go. 7 

forth b}- trees and bushes. Suninier is of three months' duration ; 
from early in ( )ctober snow remains permanently, and all the 
small lakes are frozen over solidly. The coldest months are Decem- 
ber, January, and February. ( )n the Atlantic coast the season is 
somewhat longer ; but even here it is only possible to raise the 
hardier vegetables. (Geological Simey of Canada.) 




"There is. said he, a wondrous book 
Of legends in the old Norse tongue, 
Of the dead Kings of Norroway, — 
Legends which once were told or sung 
In many a smoky fireside nook 
Of Iceland, in the ancient day, 
By wandering saga-man or scald ; 
'Heimskringla" is the volume called ; 
And he who looks may find therein 
The story that I now begin." 

"Saga of King Olaf," Loxoffixow. 


There are many traditions of early 
ICELANDIC "SAGAS." discoveries of the Northland ; but only 

the bold voyages of the fearless 
Vikings of the North are historically certain, and the Icelandic 
"Sagas" give us the first authentic pages of North American His- 
tory. There are three "Sagas" which are recognized as authentic 
history: — "The Karlsefini," "King Olaf's." and the "Saga of Eric 
the Red" (Raud). 


Eor the oldest written evidence of Norse discoveries we are in- 
debted to A.dinii, canon of the Chnrch of Bremen — "the Rome of 
the North'' (cir. 1067). The second authority is Ari Thorgilsson 
(d. 1148). These records all ai;ree in attributini^- the discovery of 
the lands of Hclliilaiid, Marklaiid (Woodland) and J 'inland "the 
Good," to Lief the "Lucky." son of Eric the Red. 

Lief, in the year 1000, returning- from Norway to Greenland, 
where he was to introduce Christianity, discovered a land to which 
he gave the name of "Helluland" (Icelandic, hcllu, a stone). His 
''land-fall" was most probably at Domino, on the middle Labrador 
coast, where existing conditions tally exactly with his descriptions 
of the land. He speaks of the place as — "land without grass ; snow 
and ice covered it, and from the shore to the mountain it was flat, 
covered with stones." That this was at Domino is, I think, almost 
bordering on absolute fact. Its Geographical position and its phys- 
ical features are seemingly incontrovertible evidence. A glance at 
the map of Labrador shows Domino as being the point wdience the 
Labrador peninsula trends to the westward ; and the course thence 
to Markland and \'inland is almost due South (compass course ; the 
variation in this vicinity is 37' W.). 

The Geological aspect is even more convincing. The formation 
here is the Gneiss of Licbcr, the base of which is a white, granular, 
vitreous quartz, with speckles of black horneblende, with a few par- 
ticles of a lilac-colored mica. It forms at this locality a broad, lozv, 
fiat plain about ten miles broad and fifteen to twenty miles long. Its 
surface is but a few feet above sea level, and to one coming from 
the high coast to the southward, this broad, naked flat, almost wholly 
destitute of vegetation, with no valleys to shelter even a growth of 
spruce trees, with patches of white rock glistening in the sun, pre- 
sents a strange and foreign feature, startling from its very tameness. 
Behind this low, white plain the country rises into high hills and 
mountains, terminating in the "Mealy JNIountains," in Sandwich Bay 
(Packard, Geology of Domino Run). The "Markland" of Eric and 
Lief was, if the Domino "land-fall" be accepted, not Nova Scotia, 
but Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland, called "Green Bay" by New- 
foundlanders, for a reason similar to that which suggested the name 
to the Norsemen : it is richly wooded. Furthermore, it is distant 
about one hundred and seventy miles to the South of Helluland; 


wiii-ki'. 'I'lii-: I'lsiii'ks (,( ). 

this would be about "two days' sail of twelve hours each." allowing 
an average eij^dit-knot speed. Tluii, it is most probable that the 
"\ inland " of the .\oi>enien was .\ Ora Scotia, not Rhode Island. 
The claims of Rhode Ishiiid to the land-fall are not genuine, evi- 
dently, as the siijiix sed Scandinavian remains at Xca'port. R. I., are 
the ■"ruin of a W'iiulinill buill by Governor Arnold ( cir. 1670) ; and 
the runic inscriptions on Dii^hfoii Rock are inerel\- Indian i)icture 
writing such as is found far to the South." ( Cath. Ency.. \'ol. 
I. p. 4iy.) 

iCKLAXDic MAI' oi' THK NoK r 11 LA x 1 >. rroiii RroieSt's History. 

After these early Xorse voyages came the ex- 
ST. BRI-yXDAX. plorer Karlsfeni, the famous Icelandic mer- 
chant, who endeavored to colonize the lands 
discovered by former navigators ; but lie was unsuccessful, owing to 
the warlike attitude of the natives of the coasts, a "bloody, fierce 
people." These were ])resuniably lisqiiiifiaiix. Karlsefeni was 
accompanied by his wife Cud rid: and their son, Siiorri, was the 
first child of Euroj)ean parents born on the mainlaind of America. 

There is a tradition exploited by recent writers on early American 
settlements to the effect that St. P)ren(lan. or Brandon, visited these 



Xorthern rei^ions in tlic 5tli I'cntury. It is {o this that Matthew- 
Arnold alhulos in the tollowino; poem: 

"Saint Urandcn sails the Xorthern Main; 

The Brotherhood of saints are glad. 

He greets them once, he sails again ; 

So late ! Such storms ! — the saint is mad. 

But north, still north. Saint Brandon steered : 

And now no hells, no convent more ; 

The hurtling Polar lights are near'd ; 

The sea without a human shore." 

This tradition has apparentl) no historical foundation ; even the 
Bollandists do not recognize the ])ilgrimage of St. Brendan ; and 
Geographers, such a< \'nn Humboldt. Ruge, and others, place the 

,C dclLaboradj3 

Terra de Labrador 

Terra de Baccaiaos. 

Terra de Corte 

C Lorenzo 

cortere.vl's map. From flozcley's Ecclesiastical History. 

story amongst "Geographical legends," which are of interest for the 
history of civilization, but which can lay no claim to serious con- 
sideration from the point of view of Geography." The earliest 
account of this legend is in Latin : "Xaz'igatio Saudi Brendani," 
and belongs to the loth or i ith century ; the first French translation 
dates from 1125. Since the 12th century the legend has appeared 
in the literature of the Netherlands, Cjermany and England. 


\viii-:rr Tin-: fishers go. 

The "Records of Zciio" arc likewise relci^atcd to the domain of 
g"cojj;rapliical dreams. 

It is also olaimt'd thai a iNthsli E.xi)l«jrer. Sckolcusky, made a voy- 
a<;c to the coast of Lahrador in 1476; hut this also is, seemingly, only 
conjectural, though Humholdt admits its prohability. (Examen 
Critique 11, p. 132.) 

The modern discoverer of Labrador 
LATER DISCO\ERII-:S. was John Cabot, who discovered 

Newfoundland in 1497. It is even 
clainud that the "landfall" of this brave sailor explorer was Labra- 


dor, not Newfoundland ; hut this question has, I think, been satis- 
factorily settled; and Cape I'.onavista is regarded as being the first 
land seen by this "Herald of Empire." 

John Cabot discovered Labrador in the same year in 

CABOT, which he discovered Newfoundland, 1497. He seems 

to have made a second voyage in the following year. 

But to his son. Sebastian, nuist be accredited the exploration of the 



coast of Labrador from the Straits of Belle Isle to Dai^is Strait; and 
his vessel was the forerunner of the lari^e ileet of English, Portu- 
guese, Basques. French and Spanish fishermen who visited these 
shores during the next two centuries, opening to the world a source 
of revenue more available than the wealth of "far Cathay." 

It was then English seamen, in the service of Henry VH, who 
first revealed to a world, which had forgotten the daring deeds of 
the Northmen, the northeastern shores of the continent of America, 
and brought to Europe the tidings of the harvest of the sea "richer 
than the mines of Golconda or Peru." 


The next explorer who visited the Northland, and the one to 
whom it doubtless owes its name, was Cortereal, who, in 1500, 
took possession of several areas in Newfoundland and Labrador in 
the name of the King of Portugal. 

The word Labrador is the Portuguese and Spanish term for 
"laborer" ; and it is said to have been applied by King Emmanuel, 
under whose auspices Cortereal made his voyages, to characterize 
the natives whom Cortereal had brought from the western land. 
These were doubtless Montagnais Indians, not Esquimaux, as is 

14 wiii'.ki-: 11I1-: i-is!I1':rs go. 

generally supposed. If not actually of the Montagnais tribe, they 
certainly belonged to some branch of the great .Mgr.nquin Nation. 
King lunnianuel. ha\ing heard of the high trees growing in the 
northern countries, and having seen the aborigines, brought home 
by Cortereal. who appeared specially (iualifie<l for labor, thought he 
had found a new slave coast, such as he had in .\frica; and dreamed 
of the tall masts he would cut, and the men-of-war he would build 
with the laborers ( "Labradores" ) — from the land of Cortereal — 
'"Terra di Cortereale." ((ialenza. "Pearl of the .\ntille>." p. lOO. ) 
l""ollowing in the wake of Cortereal. the Portuguese throughout 
the sixteenth century prosecuted the fisheries along the coasts and 
banks of the newly discovered lands, and doubtless became familiar 
with Labrador. In a map painted by X'arrese upon the walls of The 
Loggia of Raf>haclc in the Vatican Palace. Rome, alxnit 155''). the 
southern part of Labradf r is called Terra dc Corte Real : and Xew- 
foundland is set down as "Terra di P.accalao" (Baccalao is the 
Portuguese word for codfish). (From Howley'> I^cclesiastical His- 
torv. ) 

WHEKI'. rill". 1-lSllKKS GO. 


L ' .\ N C I E N REGIME. 

"En etudiant riiistoire inoclerne, nos regards s'arrctent naturclle- 
nient sur la patrie de nos ancetres. sur la belle [-"ranee, qui apparait 
an premier ranp^ des nations. 

{Avant-Propos: Hisfoirc dit Can- 



In a work entitled "Us et Coiitumes de la 
THE DIEPPOIS. mer" occurs this statement: "One hundred 

years before the discovery of America by 
Christopher Columbus, the large and small banks of Newfoundland, 
Cape Breton and Baccalaos (Labrador) were regularly visited by 
Breton Fishermen : and one of these Die]:)pois. \'incent Pingon by 
name, retired to Palos, and later took service with the Genoese navi- 
gator. Columbus, in the capacity of pilot." It is also stated that 
Captain Coussin, another Dieppois, made a landing on the American 


Win: KM TllK MSliKKS GO. 

Continent in 1488. His {liscovcry was kept a national secret; but 
i'inQon divulj4C(l the story of ihc discovery, and placed at the dis- 
posal of Columbus the maps and charts which had been made. (Ilis- 
toire dc Dicf^pc, \'o\. i. ) 

In 1504, accordin<;- to (Ilistuirc dc la Nonvcllc France), 
Bretons frequented the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts. In 
this year Jean Denys, of Hontleur, published a map of Newfound- 
land {Terrc Xcin'c). Two year- later Aubert, of Dieppe, is said 


to have founded the settlement of Rrest. These expeditions were 
made under the auspices of Dieppe Merchants ; but subsequently the 
expeditions of the Breton mariners were made under the patronage 
of the King. These were troublous times in Europe ; but after the 
"Peace of Cambray (called the "Ladies Peace," as it was concluded 
by Louise of Savoy, mother of Francis I., and Margaret of Austria, 
aunt of Charles Y., in the name of these monarchs), his Most 
Christian Majesty, at the instance of Philip Charbot, Admiral of 
France, fitted out an expedition under the command of a Breton 
sailor, Jacijites Cartier, who laid the foundations of the French 
Regime in the western lands. The Emperor of Spain, Charles V., 
and the King of Portugal, Joani. having already begun the coloniza- 


tion of America, protested against the action of the King of France. 
To their protests Francis is said to have replied : "I shonld hke to 
see the clause in our Father Adam's will which bequeaths to my 
royal brothers alone so vast a heritage."' 

Sailing from St. Alalo, a port on the coast of Brit- 
CARTIER. tany, on the 20th of April, 1534, Cartier sighted 

Caf^e Bonai'ista, twenty days later, and arrived the 
same dav at Cataliiia. a well-protected port, in Trinity Bay, wdiich 
he named St. Catherine's Haven (changed later into Cafalina). 
Several names in this vicinity are reminiscent of Breton explora- 
tions: Tri)iitx Bay, The SpiUars (Les Epiliers), Isle aiix Oiseaux 
(Bird Island Cove, recently olianged by Newfoundland nomenclature 
faddists into "Elliston"). 

After a sojourn of ten days at St. Catherine's 
THE FUXKS. Haven. Cartier started northward, and on the 

22d sighted a cluster of Islands which he named 
"Isles aux Margaulx" — known to-day as "The Funks." The voy- 
age to this point is thus described by Cartier, (translated by Hakluyt 
from "The first Relation of Jacques Cartier of St. ]\Ialo, of the new 
land called New France, newlv discovered in the vere of our Lord, 


"Upon the 21 of ]\Iay the winde being in the West, we hoised 
saile, and sailed toward North and East from the Cape of Buona 
X'ista until we came to the island of Birds, which was environed 
about with a bank of ice but broken and cract ; notwithstanding 
the sayde bank, our boats went thither to take some birds, whereof 
there is such plenty, that unlesse a man did see them, he would think 
it an incredible thinge ; for albeit the Island be so full of them that 
they seem to have been brought thither, and sowed for the nonce, 
yet there are an hundred folde as many hovering about w'ithin ; some 
of which are as big as jays, blacke and white, with beaks like unto 
Crowes : they lie always upon the sea ; they cannot fly very high, 
because their wings are so little, and no biggere than one's hand, yet 
do they flie as quickly as any birds of the air levell to the water ; they 
also are exceeding fat; we named them Aporath. In less than half 
an hour we filled two boats, as if they had been with stones ; so that 


WllllRl-: Tllli MSllLRS GO. 

besides them wliich \vc did cat fresh, every ship did powder and salt 
five or sixc barrels full of them. Besides there is another kind of 
birds which hover in the aire, and over the sea, lesser than the oth- 
ers ; and these do all gather themselves together in the Island, and 
put themselves under the wing of other birds that are greater ; these 
are named Godetz. There are also birds of another sort but bigger 
and which bite even as dogs; these we named Margaulx." These 
were evidently Puffins and Guillemots; locally known as 'Murrs 
and Turrs.' 

.\RCii ROCK, CATALixA. Plwto, Holloii'ay. 

Cartier must also have seen the "Great Auk" — 
GREAT AUK. the bird of ornithological controversy — for he 

says further : "Our men foimd there a bird as 
greate as any cow, and as white as any swan, who in their presence 
leaped into the sea; and upon Whitsun-munday (following our voy- 
age to the land) we met her by the way, swimming toward land as 
quickly as we could saile. So soone as we saw her we pursued her 
with our boats, and by maine strength took her, whose flesh was as 
good to be eaten as the flesh of a calfe two years old." (Hakluyt.) 


He then saileil northward, and sighted the island 
CHATEAl\ which former navigators had named "I sola di De- 
moni," on account of its j^rim. forhidding aspect 
and the terrihle storms met with in the vicinity. Pursuing his course 
northward, he entered a large inlet to which he gave the name of 
"Golfe des Chateaux," on account of the peculiarly shaped island 
which forms its southeastern point. 

This Island is a most remarkahle ])ile of basaltic rocks rising in 
vertical columns from an insulated bed of granite. Its height from 
the sea level is upward of two hundred feet ; it is composed of regu- 
lar five-sided prisms, and on all sides the ground is strewn with 
single blocks and clusters that have become detached and fallen from 
their places. It seems like some grim fortress of the feudal ages, 
from whose embrasures big-mouthed cannon were read\- to belch 
forth flame and smoke. 

Cartier then sailed west, anchoring at a 
BLANC SARLOX. creek which he named I'Aiisc a Sablnn 
{Blanc Sabloii) — an open, unprotected 
roadsteed, opening to the sortheast where the anchorage was inse- 
cure. He then moved farther westward; an 1 on June iith made a 
landing at Illetes, where, on the feast of St. Barnabas, his c'laplains, 
presumably Franciscans ( Recollets), offered the Holy Sacrifice. This 
is the first recorded ecclesiastical function in the great Northland. 
which, in later days, was crimsoned with the blood of martyrs. 

The coast appeared to Cartier so uninviting that he exclaimed : 
"It must be the country which God gave to Cain ! There one 
sees men of immense size and height, but untamed and savage. They 
wear their hair coiled on the top of the head like a bundle of straw, 
putting a skewer through it, the whole surmounted with a bundle 
of bird's feathers. 1 hey are clad in skins, both men and women. 
. They paint themselves in red colors. They use birch- 
bark boats, in which they catch large quantities of seals." These 
were probably not Esciuimruix, but a branch of the great Algonquin 

Cartier went as far west as Checatica, and later explored the west 
coast of New^foundland and the Magdalen Islands (Ferland: His- 
toire dn Canada). 


wiii'.Ki". 'nil-: iisiif:i>:s r,n. 

cii.\i''i"i:k i\-. 

T H I-: 1-: s n r i m a u x . 

"Ihc I^sfiiiimaiix fnm ice and snow now free. 
In ^halI^)I)s an<l in wlialeboats j^o to sea; 
In peace they rove alon^ this pleasant shore, 
In plenty live; nor do they wish for more." 

(Cartwright's "Jcjurnal.") 

. KSoLiMALX Ti:r'iK. Photu, I 'ay. 

When the European explorers set foot on the coast of Labrador 
it was in possession of a fierce. belli,ij;erent people — the Esquimaux. 

According to well-established ethnological facts, they are of Mon- 
golian origin . and it is an accepted opinion that they crossed to the 
.American continent from the extreme northeastern point of 
Kamschatka. .\t what time this migration took place is conjectural. 
They were presumably forced by the im]ierative demands of sus- 
tenance to seek food and clothing in the Xt>rthern section of the 
continent, owing to the hostility of other Indian tribes, the .lli^oii- 
qiiins (originally ".Mgoumekins" ) and their allies the Kilisti'itoioiis 
(now called "Crees"'), who are still found in the region of Hud- 
son Bav. 



The Esquimaux (called "iluskies"' by Newfoundland fishermen) 
call themselves "Innuits'" (""the men"). The name Esquimaux is 
derived irom the Abiwiuuji term "eskimantsik," meaning- "to eat 
raw." In the Cree dialect the word is "Ashkimai" (Esquimaux is 
the French equivalent). The Escjuimaux are a homogeneous race, 
and are perhaps the most widely spread people in the world. They 
are, however, unknown in Europe, as the migrations have always 
been eastward ; but they are found along the Arctic shores of North- 
ern America, Asia and in Greenland. This fact seems to establish 




4 1^3 'wT*-*" 






the theory that Greenland was colonized from Labrador. Turner 
(Annual Report, U. S. Bureau of Ethnology, 1889-90) divides the 
Esquimaux inhabiting the Labrador peninsula into three or four 
subdivisions, on account of sub-tribal distinctions maintained among 
themselves. The names given to them by Turner are those used 
by the Esquimaux of Ungava Bay. 

I. The first division includes all those dwelling along the Atlantic 
Coast and along the south shore of Hudsons Strait, to the mouth 


of the Leaf Rhcr. These people call themselves Siililni)iixiit ( "those 
who dwell at, or in, the sun," or "dwellers in the cast"). 

2. The second division emhraces the Esquimaux alon^ the south 
shore of Hudson Strait, between the Leaf River and Cape IVesten- 
lioliiie. at the entrance to Hudson Bay. These are called Taliai^}nitt 
("dwellers in the shade," or the "western people"). By the Hudson 
Bay Company they arc known as "Northerns." 

3. The third division includes those living along the east coast of 
Hudson Bay, and they arc designated the Itir'uiiyut ("the dwellers 
on the other side"). 

4. A fourth division may be made of the Esquimaux of the outer 
islands of Hudson Bay, who, according to the traders and mission- 
aries, differ from their neighbors along the coast, both in customs 
and language. 

They are known as the Kigiktagmynt (or "Island people"). 
.■\long the Atlaiuic coast, as far north as Hopedale, few or none 
of the Esquimaux are full-blooded. To the northward, the Moravian 
missionaries keep the natives from contact with the whites, and in 
consequence there are very few of mixed blood. In Ungava I>a} 
and on Hudson Bay there are, around the Hudson Bay posts, ni-iy 
half breeds, the result of marriage between the employees and Es- 
quimaux women. 

\\ ben the Kuroi)ean explorers first visited these northern regions, 
the l^s(juimaux covered the entire seaboard of the Labrador coast 
as far west as Mingan ; and it is claimed that they visited Xewfound- 
land. and even went as far south as Nova Scotia. This is the opin- 
ion of the learned historian of New France — the Jesuit Father — 
Charlevoix (Histoire Generale de la Nouvelle France, p. 100). 

The same writer says that they were in constant feud with their 
rivals — the Montagnais. 

They were gradually pushed northward ; but, as late as 1765, 
Esquimaux were found in considerable numbers as far south as 
Chateau Bay; to-day few, if any, are found south of Long Tickle. 
Several bloody battles occurred between the Montagnais and the 
Esquimaux ; and traces of these bloody encounters are found at the 
mouth of the Esquimaux River, at Forteau, and it is said that the 
last encounter took place at Big Caribou Island, now known as 
Battle Harbor. 



Other reminders of the occupation of the South by Esquimaux 
are found on Esqiiiiiiaiix IsUmd — one of the Alingan group, and in 
St. Paul's Bay. Here large quantities of human bones have been 
discovered, supposed to be the reHcs of a great battle fought between 
the Esquimaux on one side and the French and Montagnais on 
the other. 

On Caribou Island there are traces of Esquimaux occupation in 
the form of circles of stones, doubtless Esquimaux forts. At the 
present time the Esquimaux on Labrador are found, chiefly at the 
Moravian settlements between Maccovick Bay and Killinek (Port 

ESQUIMAUX WOMEN AT UXGAX'A. ( LopXI'l^Ilt, Uutlllg Fub. Co.J 

Burwell), at the entrance to Hudson Bay, though isolated families 
are found south as far as Maccovick, and occasionally at Long 
Tickle. The number at present along the coast is probably iioo, of 
whom many are pagans. Physically, the Esquimaux are well built, 
averaging about five feet three in height. They have extraordinary 
power of endurance; and they can make a journey of several days 
with little food, tho' when within reach of a carcass of seal or a 
blubber puncheon, a single Esquimau will stow away more stuff 
than an ordinary dog team. 



They are essentially carnivorous ; and the seal supplies the largest 
part of their food, though they gladly welcome the white man's grub 
of flour and molasses. 

They are chielly fishers; the special object of their fishing 
trips is the seal, which not only supplies them with food, but also 
material for clothing and covering for their Kayaks and Oomiaks, 
as well as bridles and whips for their dog teams. 

The Kayak is a shuttle-shaped boat twelve to fifteen feet long, cov- 
ered with shaved sealskin, stretched on a frame of whalebone or 
spruce ribs, with an open space in the upper part for the paddler. 

r.L'l 1.1)1 XG 


The Oomiak is a flat-bottomed boat of larger size than the Kayak. 
It is used by the women folk and for the transportation of the 
family to the outer islands during sealing voyages. The women 
can handle the pad<lle as deftly as can the sterner sex. Within recent 
years the Esquimaux have adopted the ways of the Newfoundland 
fishermen, and the Oo)iiiak and the Kayak have yielded place to the 
"whale boat" and the "jack." Even a small schooner is not now 



beyond the aspirations of the dusky denizens of the north. Another 
article of Esquimaux domestic economy is the Koniatik, or sled, 
which consists of two runners, varying from eiglit to fifteen feet in 
length, shod with hoop iron or whalebone. To these runners are 
attached slats or crossbars, about twenty inches in length, lashed 
to the runners by seal thongs or fishing-line. The "lashing" is 
preferable to nails, as it permits the Koiiiotik to yield in rough places 
where nails would be snapped oil. In the far north the runners are 
"mudded," in lieu of shoeing. This process consists in allowing a 
ridge of moistened turf to freeze to the runners. 

OOMIAK. (Cupyriglif. A. P. Low.) 

The Koniatik is the only means of transportation for the Es- 
quimaux when the bays are frozen over ; and they sometimes make 
extraordinary journeys when in search of food during the winter 

The Komatik is drawn by dogs of which there are 
DOG TEA^I. sometimes nine in a team. The dogs are "tackled" 

to the Komatik with a bridle made of sealskin, 
each animal having a separate bridle. They are controlled by the 
driver, who wields a whip of sealskin thong, thirty to thirty-five feet 



These dogs are very vicious brutes ; and when hunger urges them, 
they occasionally least off the unwary driver. They have some- 
times attacked children in the settlements, and not long since they 
nearly devoured the little son of Mr. Swatfield. the 11. 15. C. Agent 
at Cartwright, in Sandwich Bay. The Fsquimau.x dwellings are of 
three kinds; Tcf^ik (skin or canvas tent), which is used when they 
are away on the hunt for deer, or fishing in spring time ; the 
Igloozcik (or snow house), found in the far north; and the Igloo, 
or permanent house in the settlements and around the missitjus. The 
larger specimens of this t\pe are called Igloosoaks. and are built 
of logs, turf and stones. TlK'>e huts are nuich in e\idence around 

Ki iM A 11 K AM) 1 )()(.. - 

Xain, Hopedale and other Moravian settlements. They are entered 
by a long, low porch ; and when entering you must walk very cir- 
cumspectly, and make your way between the carcass of a seal and 
a vessel of democratic shape and use. in which the sealskin is soaked 
before being trimmed by the teeth of the matcrfamilias, who con- 
verts it into boots or other articles which constitute Esquimaux 
apparel. The furniture of the dwelling is decidedly scant ; and con- 
sists of sundry vessels of stone, a soapstone lamp, a wooden frame, 
presumably a bedstead , and perhaps a tin kettle or two. 

Cleanliness, of course, is not one of the virtues of the Esquimaux ; 



and if you are not particularly careful you will return from your 
excursion "a noun of nuiltitude." 

Their clothing- consists of sealskin, or blankeliug, and is of the 
same form, practically, for men and women. ( )ver pantaloons of 
spacious width they wear a "Jumper" called — according to the 
material of which it is composed — "Adikey" (if made of blanketing) 
and "Netsek" (if made of sealskin). The female habiliment is of 
more aristocratic type than that worn by the men. It has long 
frontal and posterior flaps trimmed with braid of various colors. 
A hood of large proportions is attached, sufhciently large to carry 
the Benjamin of the family, known to Newfoundland fishermen as 


Their language (which, by the way, has no word for God) is 
agglutinative and difficult to acquire, as it admits of no inflexions. 
Words sometimes are practically sentences. As an illustration, the 
following taken from a pam])hlet j^ublishcd by the Moravian Mis- 
sionaries is submitted at Nain : 

Labradormiut akkilejunguarerkartinget. sakkertitsijungualerkarti- 



The Ksqiiiinaux liave only ten numerals ; and to count any greater 
number than ten. they must rcscMi to a very circumlocut(jry process — 
e. g. to express the number fifty, they will say: "ten times as many 
fingers as a man has on one hand." or "five times as many toes as 
a man has." 

The Esquimaux occupation of the coast is emphasized in a very 
definite manner in the nomenclature of the coves, harbors and islands 
along the coast from JVcbcc (Cape Harrison) to Killinck (Port 
Burwell) beyond Cape Chidley. The following paragraphs from 
Kohl's article on this subject describe some social features which I 
have not witnessed. 

"The marriage of the F.squimaux is a simple attair ; there is no 
ceremonv, except, of course, anu ng the Chri~~tian section. Theii 

THE I'.\P00SE. 

marriages are often childless ; and the greater number of children 
die young. I'.esides this nc^rmal diminution, epidemics are introduced 
through the traffic with the fishing vessels, and an extraordinary 
large percentage die. They never attain a great age, rarely exceed- 
ing sixty years. Formerly. the\ did not bury their dead, but left the 
bodies exposed on the rocks clad in their best clothing and with the 
things they had used in life. Xow. since they have come under the 
influence of the missionary, they encase the bodies in rough wooden 

\\ii1':ki«: riii' fishers go. 


The yearly life of the I'-sqiiiniaux is as ft)llo\vs : "During the 
summer, from May to December, they, with their families, are scat- 
tered along the shore at the fishing places. After the men return 
from the hunting in May, they take their whole family to the off- 
shore islands to hunt seals. The seals follow the edge of the drift 
ice ; and the hunters are often obliged to drive far out on dog sleds 
to reach the seals' course. 

"They wait on the outer islands until the coast ice moves ofif, 
generally in June. Then they hasten back in their Kayaks to the 
Station to prepare their large sailboats, which are generally pur- 
chased from the Newfoundland fishermen. With these they fetch 
their families from the islands, and go trout fishing in the inlets or 
the river courses. Then follows the cod fishery. In the autumn they 
hunt again, after which comes the fall seal fishery, carried on in 
Kayaks, often with the thermometer twenty degrees below zero. In 
this ten^perature the Esquimaux will sit for hours with their seal- 
skin clothing frozen solid as an icicle. About Christmas time they 
assemble at the Mission : this is the time of schooling for the chil- 
dren, and religious duties for the elders."' (Bremen Geographical 
Journal for 1884.) 





Tin-: .MoNT.\(;x.\is Indian? 

"From the farthest reahns of morninj; 
Came the Black-l^obe Chief, the Prophet. 
He the Priot of Pra\er, the Pale- face. 
With his icjuides and his cnnipanions." 

— "Hiawatha." PoxcfkijxjW. 

LAKI-: .\i UKi.MAi'. [Copyri^^Jit. Outing Pub. Co.) ■ 

Two other Inchan tribes, or. more accurately, two other divisions 
of Indians, share with the l^sijuimaux the title to the "Aboriginal 
tribes of the Labrador Peninsula" — the Montagnais (Coast Indians) 
and the Naskopis (Hi.e^hiand Tn(hans). These are branches of the 
great Algonquin family, and with the Iluroii-lroqitois are said to 
have descended from the North at the beginning of the fifteenth 
century. They received the generic name of Algonquin from the 
French : in their rnvn language they were called Odisqnagmc ("Peo- 
ple at the end of the Water"). They are supposed to have been at 
the head of a Northern Confederacy similar to that of the "Six Na- 
tions." In later times they became the allies of the French in their 
wars against the Xodonos and Iroquois. 


The Moiitagnais occupy tlie southern section of the Peninsula. 
The Hue of demarcation l)et\\een them and the Naskopis is pretty 
clearly drawn. The line north of Lake Mickikaniou is the southern 
boundary, and the George River the eastern limit of the Naskopis; 
the Montagnais boundaries lie to the south and west. 

The Montagnais number about three thousand, and wander over 
the territory between Northivest River and Betsiamits. They come 
regularly to the southern Hudson Bay Posts and to other settlements 
along the south coast of Labrador. 1 have met two encampments at 
the mouth of Esquimaux River, three miles north of Bonne Esper- 

They are usually men of fine physique, and differ in every respect 
from the Esquimaux. 

Their chief occupation is hunting, though in early summer they 
catch salmon and trcut. which they trade with dealers on the coast. 
They gather large quantities of furs. — fox, marten, wildcat, and otter 
being now the most highly valued. Their abode is the wigwam, or 
cotton tent when on the march. They do not use dogs as the Es- 
quimaux do ; but they transport their lares and penates on toboggans 
manufactured by themselves with an axe and a kr.ife. They manu- 
facture snowshoes of the finest description. The frames are made 
by the men from split birch wattles, and the lacing (babiche) is cut 
from deerskin and woven by the women. These snowshoes are of 
great length, much larger than we usually see at home. 

They are comparatively cleanly in their habits : and I have visited 
their encampments without any disastrous results. The Montagnais 
are strictly honest when left to themselves ; and are extremely hos- 
pitable : but when they come in contact with Southerners they soon 
acquire the evil ways of the white man. They are of vivacious 
temperament, alert and intelligent , practically all of them being able 
to read, in French, as well as in their native dialect. They are all 
Catholics, and they make regular visits to the missions for instruc- 
tion by the Oblate Fathers, who have been laboring amongst them 
since 1843. 

Immorality is rare amongst these children of the wild ; and even 
when away in the bush they are strict observers of the laws of the 

They have an excellent knowledge of music, and sing Church 

3^': iiii-: Msiii-:i<s go. 

hyiiins in their native dialect very correctly. To many, the music of 
the primitive Indian seems weird and uncouth, perhaps; but recent 
developments of these native themes demonstrate the fact that the 
genius of a Mozart or IJeethoven is found latent in some of the In- 
dian musical airs. Practically all their music is in a minor key ; and 
this is also true of other primitive races. Some years ago, during a 
missionarv trip to the Straits, a IMontagnais Choir sang the Gre- 
gorian for me one Sunday at Bonne llspoancc. Besides the regular 
parts of the Mass, tliey sang h\nins. in I'Vench. and in their native 
dialect ; and the\- sang w ith great accuracy and precision. A great 

MONTAGXALS INDIANS. I Cof^yfiglit, Outing Fub. Co.) 

number of them speak b'rench lluently ; all of them intelligibly ; and 
I was thus enabled to elicit a great deal of information regarding 
their customs and mode of living. When I asked the old chief why 
they sang these hymns and other nioi'ccanx in French, he answered : 
"jtie sing, longtivnf's: Ic pcrc chant too ; pcrc Babel sing aiissi. 

These Indians had seemingly the greatest veneration for their spir- 
itual guides : and this is not to be wondered at when one realizes 
that the missionary lias been laboring among the Mo)itagnais for 
nearly three centuries. 

The Franciscans (Recollets) began work among the Indians 
in 1615, the first missionary being Father D'Obleait. Later, in 1625, 



the Jesuits entered the mission field; and with only short interruption 
have since been ideiilificd with Canadian Indian missions. The Rev- 
erend Edmoid Masse bei^an work aniong^ the Eastern section of the 
Algonquins in 1625. This mission owed its inauguration to the 
benevolence of Antoinette Du Pont, Marquise de Qucrchez'ille. 
Father Masse labored among; the Montagnais till his death, in 1646. 
The next Jesuit missionary of whom we hear was Father Paul le 
Jeunc, who compiled a "Manual of Prayers," in the native dialect, 
for the "children of the forest." In the "Journal" of Father La- 
brosse, another Jesuit, who had some thousands of Catechisms and 

MONT.\GN.\is wu.MKX. (Copyright. Outing Pub. to.) 

Primers printed in Montagnais, we find this entry : "I taught many 
savages to read, write, and sing by note, and assist at rites, besides 
Mass and Evening service." During the first English occupation of 
Canada, under David Kertk (who by the way was a Frenchman, a 
native of Dieppe), the missions of the Jesuits were discontinued 
temporarily ; and many of the missionaries returned to France ; but 
when Canada was restored to France, by the Treaty of Saint Ger- 
maine-en-Laye, in 1632, the missionaries again began active work; 
and it still continues. 



THE N A S K O P I S . 

"It is well for us, O brothers! 
That you come so far to see us !" 

"Hiaxvatha," Longfki.low. 

The name "Naskopis" has been given to the inland Indains of 
the Labrador coast stretching from Strait of P)elle Isle to Hudson 
Bay. The word Xaskopi means "unbeliever."" and it was applied 
to them before they embraced Christianity. r)Ut they still, though 
nearly all converted to the Faith, go under this designation in con- 
tradistinction to the Montagnais, their neighbors, who used to stick 
close to the shore. .\ great deal of unreliable literature has been 
published concerning this interesting band of Indians ; and it has 
been written by men who evidently deal in "second-hand goods." 
A recent writer says that the Noskopis are all heathens, and dis- 
cusses their social and other characteristics from reports received 
from traders and others, who have possibly never seen a Xaskopi 
camp. I have thumbed every page within reach dealing with the 
Naskopis, but, finding such a divergence of views, I sought informa- 
tion from one of the best authorities on the suliject — one who has 
spent nearly a quarter of a century laboring amom^st this rrry tribe 
— the Rev. Lemoine. 

After months of patient waiting. 1 received a detailed account 
of the life, manners and customs of this interesting peo])le of which 
so little accurate information has been given to the public. 

My authority is a member of the Obhite Order whose missionaries 
have been laboring among the Eastern and Northwestern Indians 
since 1843. Tlie late Archbishop Tache, and the Venerable Father 
Lacombe, the man who is called "The Father of the Northwest,"' are 
names familiar to Canadians; and the Oblate Order numbers these 
among its members. I met the Father, who has supplied me with 
this interesting narrative during one of his missionary tours on the 
Labrador coast nearly twenty years ago ; and he has been ever since 
a valued friend. His account is so extensive that it cannot be repro- 



duced within the narrow limits atmy disposal now; but, if circum- 
stances permit, I hope at some future date to publish it in extenso. 
I extract the following- paragraphs which bear directly on my sub- 

"Away in the hush the Naskopis managed to escape the mission- 
ary's sway for a long time ; and it is only fifty years since Fathers 
Arnauld and Babel came into contact with them, and began their 
conversion. These Indians first had missions at Nekupan and 
Petetstaknpan, then at Northwest River, up Hamilton Inlet (H. B. C. 
Posts) ; and lastly, and up to now. even, at 'Seven Islands.' What 
their belief was before they embraced Christianity is not quite clear. 

NASKoPi BOY. (Copyright, Outing Pub. Co.) 

It seems, however, that coiijuring formed a great part of it , for, even 
yet, they are caught at it, when meeting in the woods away from the 
missionary's gaze. They carry on what they call Kushaptshigan. 
They pitch a small tent, and make it fast by stakes driven into the 
ground. The conjurer alone gets in ; the other Indians sit around as 
spectators. He then exerts himself, gesticulating in the most ex- 
citing manner, though without touching the tent. Soon a white 
partridge is seen hovering on the top, though not placed there by 
any visible means. Immediately the tent moves up and down, as if 

36 \\iii:ki<: tiiI': i- i si ii<: rs r,o. 

jerked by violence, though not touched, or in contact with any visible 
object. After this solemn manifestation of his power, the conjurer 
tells the enthralled people the cause of their evils and failures in the 
hunt, and predicts the happening^s for the coming season. 

"lUit the Indians place little confidence in his 
CONjrRKR. i)rognostications, though they wonder greatly at 
the 'doings' of this mysterious fellow who carries 
on the Kiisliaptshigan. They indulge in conjuring through curiosity, 
but all of them declare they do not place any confidence in the con- 
jurer, and they say "Only God can give us good or evil." 

As regards the musical art, the Aaskopis sing Church hymns and 
chants taught them by the missionaries — these take the place of canoe 
and war songs. None of the Indians has ever told me that his an- 
cestors knew anything else in the line of music. 

Do not believe all you hear or read concerning the Moiitai!;iiais 
or the Xaskopis from travelers i^.'ho pretend to lecture or i<.'ritc on 
Indians. They will likely tell you that these tribes have a monosyl- 
labic language. This is not the case. This belief arises from the fact 
that explorers, noticing that they disconnect all the syllables, wrongly 
conclude that the syllables thus set apart are so many words. We 
find it very diflficult now to make people outside understand what 
the Indians actually are. and do. owing to the gross misrepresenta- 
tions of Indian life made by incompetent lecturers and unscrupulous 
adventurers. The truth is. the Xaskopis' language, which is also the 
language of the Montagnais, is a set of verbal conjugations, the 
various parts of which are far from being monosyllabic. Compare 
the English "we sing their praises" with the Xaskopi "ki uikanio:!h- 
tatanots," which is a common manner of speaking in this dialect. 
In fact, most words in the Xaskopi language are longer than either 
French cr English. Many words are made up of ten or more sylla- 
bles. How to pronounce them ? Ah, this is the least difiiculty. The 
trouble is getting into your head more than thirty dififerent conjuga- 
tions which the verbs rec|uire. The wlK)le system is described in 
my "Dictionary-Fran<^\ais-^rontagnais" — published by Cabot, of Bos- 
ton ; it also contains a grammar. Like all Northern Indians, the 
Xaskopis hunt for a livelihood, sometimes procuring food and cloth- 
ing from the captured animals ; but more frequently trading the fur 



of these animals for the various conimodities offered thcin by traders. 
Their chief hunt is trapping- foxes, martens, minks and other ftir- 
bearing animals. Cleanliness has not. as yet, had much influence 
on their habits, and they deem it below man's notice to care for the 
body other than by food. 

Among the Naskopis. as among other Indians, the women attend 
to all the household work, including wood chopping and water 
carrying. JMoreover, they hold a secondary place in the household, 
at all meetings and at banquets, where the mother has to bow even 
to her son's superiority. Happily, men are beginning to realize the 
true position of womanhood, and they are beginning to treat women 
more kindly than formerly. I have just mentioned banquets. Well, 
they are somewhat different from the powwows of politicians and 
others amongst civilized people. 

TEPic. {Cupynght, OiitiiiL!^ I'lib. Co.) 

The banquet with the Indian — which is called Makushan — is a 
very important affair. He goes there to eat, and in this respect 
really he differs little from his white brother. I have attended a few 
of these Makiishans amongst the Naskopis. They started eating at 
9 a. m.. and kept on coming and eating by turns till 7 p. m., when I 
thought I had better interrupt this somewhat protracted function. 
All they had to keep them going was a pile of little blocks about two 



inches square ; these were of gray appearance, as soHd as sugar 
cubes, and were said to be the fat mixed with a Httle liesh of the 
Caribou allowed to cool, and then cut up into small squares. These 
seemed particularly palatable to the Indian ; of course, my tastes 
were not consulted. These Makusliaiis are generally held at the time 
of the Mission or durjng the meets in the winter. Speeches are de- 
livered at the opening. 

Gradually we are weeding out these barbarous customs, and the 
Xaskopis now offer little opposition to the advance of Christian 

Dillon Wallace in "The Long Labrador Trail"' speaks differently 
of these Indians ; but. as he admits, in a footnote, his knowledge of 
the habits and manners of the Xaskopis was gltaned from the officers 
of trading companies and some natives around the coast of Fort 

ST. John's, looking eastward. Photo, HoUozivy. 





"All are Architects of fate, 
Working in the walls of time ; 
Some with massive deeds and great, 
Some with ornaments of rhyme." 

"The BiiUders," Longfellow, 


Cartier laid the foundation of l-'rench regime in the 
CARTIER. western land; and his enterprise added large areas 

to the already extensive dominions of His Most 
Christian Majesty. After planting the fleur-dc-Us on the coast of 
Labrador, he made a landfall at Gaspe (an Indian term for "Land's 
End"), and there he erected a cross thirty feet high on which he 
placed a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis and an inscription, emblemati- 
cal of the sovereignty of France in America. Thus was accom- 
plished a memorable event, and Canada was silently and incon- 
spicuously incorporated into a mighty empire. Thus, too, was com- 
pleted that three-fold act of discovery in America — Spain in the 
West Indies, England in Newfoundland and Labrador, and France in 
Canada — which, as a natural consequence, placed side by side on a 
vast unknown continent, the symbols of the sovereignty of three of 
the greatest nations of Europe. 


Cartier's second voyage to the West resulted in 
ROBEkXAI.. tlie founding of the City of Montreal; and his 
third, in the cstahlislinK-nl nf I'rcnch Colonies 
along the coast of Lahrador. 

A "fable" is recorded by some historians, who have doubtless bor- 
rowed it from Thevet, in comiccticni with Cartier's third voyage, 
which he made as second in command to the Sieur de la Rocque de 
Roberval. The latter was a native of Picardy. and held such sway 
in his Province that l-'rancis 1. dubbed liim "The little King of 
X'imeux." The "fable" (for such it evidently is) is this: "Accom- 
panying Roberval on this voyage were a relative, the Lady Mar- 
guerite, and a young nobleman whose conduct displeased Roberval. 
He put them ashore at Belle Isle — the 'Isola de Demoni' — of former 
navigators, where the young nobleman die<l. Marguerite was left 
alone on the gloomy island until some ti>hermen. who were in the 
neighborhood, rescued her from exile and death Thevet, with 
whom this story originated, sometimes locates this incident at Isle 
Demoiselle, farther up the Straits." 

Belle Isle is represented on old maps as covered 
BELLE ISLE, with devils rampant, with wings and tails and 

horns ; and the terror-stricken seamen of olden 
times used to hear in the air, on the tops, and about the masts, a 
great clamor of men's voices, confused and inarticulate, such as you 
may hear from a crowded fair or market place ; whereupon they 
knew that the "Isle of Demons" was not far ofif. 

During the years following Cartier's voyages, coloni- 
COLOXS. zation went on apace along the Eastern sections of 
the newly acquired territory ; and evidence of this 
occupation is permanently established in the names of the little vil- 
lages and hamlets situated in the Straits of Belle Isle, Western 
Labrador and in the St. Lawrence Gulf and River, from Cape St. 
Francis to Quebec. 

Toward the close of the seventeenth century an alliance between 
the French and the Montagnais Indians on the Labrador coast was 
effected ; the latter soon acquired the language of the French colons, 
and frequent marriages occurred between them. Their descendants 


are still, in many localities, found among the fishers and trappers of 
the Straits of Belle Isle. 

Two objects engrossed the attention of the French 
PELTERIE. administration — the conversion of the Indian tribes 

and the extension of the peltcrie trade. As a 
means of carrying out these projects, exploration and discovery were 
dominant features in French colonial life. 

By the Treaty of Paris (1763), France 
TREATY OF PARIS, forfeited all her possessions in North 

America, with the exception of Louisi- 
ana and the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon (ofif the south coast 
of Newfoundland), and received back Martinique and Guadeloupe, 
in the West Indies — England retaining Grenada and the Grenadines 
— while Spain received Cuba in exchange for Florida. This Treaty 
was the occasion of momentous scenes in the British Parliament. 
Lord Chatham denounced it as "an infamous transaction" ; and 
Lord Bute was openly charged with bribery (the very sum was 
named — three hundred thousand pou}ids — which had been paid 

him by the French). 

Junius, in one of his celebrated let- 
CHARGE OF BRIBERY, ters. charged one of Bute's col- 
leagues — the Duke of Bedford — 
with bribery ; and he concludes by this caustic assertion : "Belle Isle, 
Goree, Guadeloupe, S. Lucia, Martinique, the Fishery, and the 
Havanas, are glorious monuments of your Grace's talents for nego- 
tiation. . . . My Lord, we are too well acquainted with your 
pecuniary character to think it possible that so many public sacrifices 
should have been made without some private compensation. Your 
conduct carries with it an internal evidence beyond all legal proofs 

of a Court of Justice." . — 

Under the new regime the Government 
STRUGGLE FOR was rather a civil and a social bond than 
SUPREMACY. an expression of the embodied will of 
the Imperial authorities ; hence, explora- 
tion and discovery within the colony formed but a subordinate part 
of the objects and pursuits of the English colonists. When, there- 



fore, the rival colonists came into contact, it was rather in a struggle 
for cnlarj^ed boundaries for trade than for inHuence over the Indian 
tribes. The niomentous contlict which led to the separation of Can- 
ada from I'Vauce put an end to the struggles between the French 
and the English colonists for dominion over the Indian tribes, and 
for the monopoly of the fur trade. 

It also brought to a close a protracted contest for commercial and 
national supremacy, waged for nearly a century and a half between 
the two foremost nations of Christendom. That contest, although 
it was too often selfish in its aims and purposes, nevertheless uncon- 
sciouslv developed in a wonderful degree, even in both colonies, a 
spirit of enterprise and (lisco\cry which has rarely had a parallel in 
later times, when steam and electricity have added. a> it were, wings 
to man's locomotive and phvsical i)owers. 


By a provision of the Treaty of Paris 

LABRADOR UNDER (1763), the coast of Labrador received 

JURISDICTION OF special attention; and in order to es- 

NEWFOUNDLAND. tablish a free fishery, open to British 

subjects upon the coast, the whole of 
that coast, from the River St. John to Hudson Strait, was placed 
under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Newfoundland, whose title 
henceforth was to be : "Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and 
over the Island of Xezefoiindland, and of the eoast of Labrador, 
from the entranee to Hudson Strait to the River St. John." 



During the years immediately fol- 
SIR HUGH PALLTSER. lowing the Treaty of Paris consider- 
able development had taken place 
along the coast of Labrador ; a number of Europeans had taken up 
their abode in a part of the territory, and, by wantonly injuring, had 
alienated the natives. At the same time much confusion had arisen 
in the country, due, in a large measure, to Canadians who claimed to 
have vested rights over certain areas. At this juncture the Governor 
of Newfoundland — Sir Hugh Palliser, who was a man of great busi- 
ness capacity, devoted himself to an earnest study of the conditions 


existing upon the coast. He personally surveyed the District, and 
by certain prudent measures he greatly modified the existing diffi- 
culties. He had set his heart on making his newly acquired territory 
of Labrador, Anticosti and the Magdalen Islands into a great fish- 
ery, governed by the Rules of William's Act. Palliser's first object 
was to establish Fort Pitt, in Chateau Bay: and he accomplished 
this with little difficulty. \'isiting all the places 
FORT PITT, within his territory, he later encountered serious 
obstacles from the resident population, and from 
the French Canadians, but especially from American Whalers. In 

44 Wlll'kl': llll-: IISITF.RS GO. 

a letter to the Governor of Massachusetts, Aujj^ust 7, 1776, he says: 
"The ^reat trouble and (Hfficuhy I meet willi in keeping j^ood order 
amongst the ti>h<.rs in Lahrailor, is occasioned by (Hsorderly people 
from your Province. ... 1 am well informed that some New 
England vessels . . . went to the Xorihward. robbed, plun- 
dered and nuu'dercd .'un< mgst the Esquimaux, some old men. women 
and children . . so I expect mischief will happen this year; 

revenge being their declared princij)le." 

New Englanders al>ettefl the settlers in 
Nl^W ENGL.ANDERS. their opposition to the Governor's reg- 
ulations, which demanded the destruc- 
tion of their posts, under the Fishing-Admiral Rules; and ultimately 
to avoid further difficulties, the Imjierial Government restored Lab- 
rador to Canada, and reversed all Palliser's regulations, in 1774. by 
the Quebec Act, 14 George HI., Cap. Ixxxiii. Soon there arose a 
new source of difficulty, entailing serious consequences for the settlers 
along the coast, in the War of American Independence. The first 
Congress, in September. 1774. forbade all exports to British posses- 
sions ; and this blow fell heavily on Newfoundland and Labrador, 
whose inhabitants had been accustomed to obtain supplies from the 
New England States. This trade was largely 
SML'GGLING. snnigiilini;;. which enriched the coffers of the 
settlers and the New England merchants. Pri- 
vateers harassed the coast, and destroyed much valuable property. 
In the summer of 1778 the American Privateer MijiOTa, under the 
captaincy of John (irimes. attacked Cape Charles, one of Cart- 
wright's stations, and carried away booty to the value of fourteen 
thousand pounds. In 1796 a French fleet bombarded the English 
fort in Chateau Pay. and after a long engagement the English 
retreated into the back country, after burning the settlement. The 
remains of this fort are still visible, and Antelope Tickle, nearby, is 
a reminder of the English occupation. 

The Treaty of J Versailles (1783) 
TREATY OF \'ERSAILLES. brought these international hos- 
tilities to an end ; and by the 
same Treatv jiermission was granted .American fishermen to fish on 



the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, on the same footing as 
settlers; but they were allowed to come and "dry J' only "in the 
unsettled bays, harbors and creeks of Nova Scotia, the Magdalen 
Islands, and Labrador."* 

Americans have constantly prosecuted the fisheries along the 
Labrador coast, and several localities, such as American Harbor, 
American Tickle and American Island, are witnesses of their pres- 
ence. Not many years ago there were thirty schooners from Uncle 
Sam's domain fishing at American Harbor, on Southern Labrador. 

A formidable rival to colonial enterprise entered Lab- 
H. B. C. rador by the incoming of the Hndson Bay Company, 

which received a charter from the Imperial Govern- 
ment in 1670, and the familiar inscription, "H. B. C.," is seen in 
several settlements from Cartivright, in Sandwich Bay, to Fort 

*This Treaty has recently been tlic subject of considerable discussion, 
owing to the action of the Newfoundland Government in connection with 
the Herring Fishery at Bay of Islands. The matter has been referral to 
The Hague Tribunal for final settlement. 






"WliithcT. all, whither? are not these 

rhe tenii)est-haunte(l Hebrides, 
W'licre seasjulls scream and breakers roar. 
And wreck and seaweed Hne the shore?" 

"Ultima Thidc," Longff.f.i.(iw 


We have httle knowdedge of the earHest French settlements of 
Labrador beyond the vague records found in the History of Canada ; 
and these are neither lengthy nor very definite. In the "Relations 
des Jesuitcs" and the "Journal" of Father Charlevoix, we have 
practically all that is e.xtant, of a reliable nature. From the data 
available we learn that colonization continued under the administra- 
tions of the successive French Governors 

EARLY TRADERS, from 1550 to 1627. The pcltcrie trade 

attracted the attention of the adventurer 

and the courtier, so that, previous to 1627, several Associations had 


been org-anizcd to engage in the development of the eastern section 
of iVrtc France, of which Labrador was an important part. The 
history of these companies is a record of iniquitous transactions ; 
and their greed was such that even missionary enterprise was 
thwarted by the "Adventurers." 

To repress the rapacity of these soulless organizations the Com- 
pany of New France, otherwise known as "The Company of the 
Hundred Associates," was founded by Cardinal Richelieu, in 1627, 
who pledged themselves to foster religious development and to deal 
in a humane spirit with the savages and the colonists ; but these 
pledges were not fulfilled. Canada came into the hands of the 
English in 1629, through the services of David Kertk (Kirk), a 
native of Dieppe, who was battling for English interests ; and dur- 
ing the period of English Dominion (1629-1632) missionary and 
other interests were in abeyance. Canada was again ceded to 
France by the Treaty of Saint Gcrinaiiie-eu-Layc (1632), and mis- 
sionary enterprise received an impetus which has never relaxed. With 
the missionary came the colon and the settler. The only authentic 
record of the development of Labrador by English settlers is 
by ^lajor George Cartwright, who has left a monumental work on 
the subject. It is entitled: "A Journal of Transactions and Events 
during a residence of nearly sixteen years on the Coast of Labrador, 
containing many interesting particulars both of the coiintrx and its 
inhabitants not hitherto known. Illustrated icith proper charts." 
This is a ponderous diary, in three octavo volumes. 

Cartwright was born in England, and after 
CARTWT-ilGHT. service in the army he came out to New- 
(SeepageSs.) foundland, in 1776. After some months of 

exploration in the interior of the island he returned to England. 
He came out to Newfoundland again in 1768; and in 1770 he en- 
tered into a partnership with Lieutenant Lucas, Perkins, and Cogh- 
lan, of Bristol, to carry on business at Labrador under the firm of 
Perkins, Coghlan, Cartun-ight and Lucas. Cartwright located at 
Cape Charles, in 1770, removing later to Sandwich Bay, where he 
founded the settlement of Cartwright. now owned by the Hudson 
Bay Company. "Cartwright was a singular character; frankly im- 


wiiERi-: Till': i"isiii:RS go. 

moral, he was at the same time most assiduous in his religious 
devotions, and anxious for the conversion of the savage." 

The earliest "settlement" on the coast of Labrador 
I)J\1^ST. was Brest, situated at the mouth of Bras d'nr Bay. 

Its actual founder is unknown, but it became known to 
Europe through Dcnys of Ilonflcnr and Aubcrt of Dieppe. It was 
colonized by r)retons, and evidently occupied, in early colonial days, 
a position siniil;u- to that now held by the I'Vench Colony of St. 
Pierre (off the coast of Newfoundland). The site was admirably 
chosen, as it alYorded easy access to the fishing grounds in the 

sr. riMKU!-:. 

Gulf and in the Straits of Belle Isle. Cartier visited it in 1534. It 
was strongly fortified, and its garrison protected the settlers from 
the predator}- incursions of the Esquimaux. The fort was known 
as "Fort Pontchartrain." It was the chief town of Nen' France, 
the residence of the Governor, the Almoner, and other public oflfi- 
cers; the French drew from there large quantities of baccalao (cod- 
hsh), z(.'liale-fi)is. and train (oil), together with castor (beaver), and 
other valuable furs. 

At the close of the sixteenth century Brest was at the height of 
its prosperity ; and it contained two hundred houses, besides stores 
and fishing rooms, and had a permanent population of one thousand 
souls, which in summer time was increased to three thousand by 
the influx of )iiariiis, from Breton seaports. It began to decline in 


the early days of the following^ century, and its first cause of decay 
was the g^rant en scigticuric of four leagues of coast, on each side, 
embracing the town, to the Sicur dc Conrtcmanchc, whose family 
held it in possession until Erancc ceded to England its northern 
possessions, by the Treaty of Utreeht, which, says the Abbe Raynal, 
snatched from the feeble hands of Louis the portals of Canada, 
Acadie, and Newfoundland. 

Soon after the granting of this section of the coast to the Sieur de 
CourtemaneJie, the whole tribe of Esquimaux, who had given the 
French so much annoyance, were totally extirpated, or expelled 
from the gulf shores. This and other causes dispersed the fisher- 
men who had frequented Brest to other stations, and the place 
began to decline, and, indeed, was little more than a private estab- 
lishment towards the close of the century, and the name was 
changed to Bradorc ( Englishmen had then begun to invade these 
haunts of the French). While the [-"rench occupied the country. 
Brest was the centre of a large trade. An old Frenchman named 
Junot says that when he first came to the country he saw one hun- 
dred and fifty vessels anchored in Bradore Bay. with five ships of 
war, preparatory to their departure for France. 

This was the case every year; Junot spoke of the year 1720. The 
town of Brest remained in the hands of the Coitrfoiiaiiche family 
for three generations, and then came into possession of M. de 
Brouagcs, one of the "Council of Seven" of Quebec, who was either 
a nephew or grandson of the last Sieur de Coiirtemanche. He held 
it until the conquest in 1763. After the conquest Bradorc and one 
hundred and fifty miles of the coast westward were monopolized by 
a company called "The Labrador Company," established in Quebec, 
which for fifty years carried on the fishery, chiefly for seals, with 
success, until the last fifteen years, when the fisheries declined, and 
finally failed, w^hen they were obliged to sell out. This happened 
in 1820, since which time this part of the coast has been gradually 
filling in with settlers. (Robertson: Notes on Labrador.) 

Not far from the site of this once 
SMUGGLERS' CACHES, bustling town there is a little inlet 

known as L'anse des Dunes (Vulgo- 
Linsey-Din). This little creek is one of the most interesting spots 




on the coast. It is still reminiscent of the Aiicicn Regime; it pos- 
sesses a trim little church, built by a French-Canadian missionary 
more than fifty years ago. It was my privilege to officiate there 
frequently during my missionary trips to the coast, and the settle- 
ment is now regularly visited by the Eudist Fathers, who have estab- 
lished several missions along the lower gulf coast. A few French 
families still live in the vicinity. 


Near this settlement there are several caches, where the smuggler 
deposited his wares in days of old ; but these haunts no longer know 
the silent tread of the vendor of contraband wares. Some interest- 
ing stories are told of "Old Bradore." In early times its people 
had money in abundance ; and some years ago the residence of an 
old "planter" had the distinction of possessing a stairs pai-ed xc/V/i 
silver dollars, ingeniously set in the oak planks to prevent them 
from zvearing! High "Jinks" and "Jamborees" (they would be 
called "socials" in this artistic age) whiled away the long winter 
nights in former times ; and cargoes of liquor are 

BRADORE. said to have been consumed by festive roysterers. 

On one occasion, I am told, a chariot-race was 

held on the strand (the horses having been brought especially for 


the event from Quebec). Then came evil days, the wasteful prodi- 
gals tasted of the "waters of Mara," and the descendants of the 
bacchanals of the prosperous age are to-day not infrequently the 
wards of public charity. 

Tempora mutantur! The Brest of the Ancien Regime is to-day 
a rude fishing hamlet, and "fish lakes" cumber the ground where 
the gallant sons of the empire often trod. 

Away to the eastward, along the shore of the 
CHATEAU. Straits of Belle Isle, there is another vestige of 
Old France, Chateau. This settlement was estab- 
lished by Cartier, in 1534; but there is no evidence that it ever 
assumed such importance as Brest. 

The Esquimaux then held unrestricted sway in this region, and 
doubtless were a constant menace to Cartier's foundation. There 
certainly was an English settlement in this neighborhood previous 
to 1750. 

It is claimed that an Acadian colony settled here 

ACADIAXS. in the autumn of 1756, the year following the 

expulsion from the "peaceful village of Grand 

Pre"' ; but, notwithstanding researches made in various quarters, I 

have not been able to verify the statement. 

In the year 1763 a British garrison was located in Chateau to 
protect the interests of British fishermen, who, at this date, came 
in great numbers to the Newfoundland and the Labrador coasts. 
The remains of the fortifications are still visible in Chateau Bay, 
though they are now almost completely overgrown by thickets. 


\\iii:ki': rill': iisiii-:ks go. 

riiAi'ri'.k IX. 

Till-: Ai)\ i:\Ti: UKU.^. 
".Men fnuii nut tlic Isles of Jersey and Devon." ( (."hroniclc. ) 


The pcltcric and the fishing wealth of the coast early attracted 
the Breton merchants to the French settlements ; and, previous 
to the Treaty of Paris, the "Adventurers" of Quebec strove to ob- 
tain a monopoly of the Indian traffic; but with ihe fall of Quebec the 
Goitlotian-Advoiturcr of the I'rench regime disappeared. 

But a new phase of commercial activity 
JERSEY TRADERS, began witli the coming of the West of 

England and Jersey merchant traders; 
and before the close of the eighteenth century we find several Jersey 
and English firms located along the coast. Jersey firms located 
at Blaiic SabIo}i, Port can, L^lc an Bois, and Bradorc, and they did 
a lucrative trade with the settlers for ui)warils of a century. The 
Jersey houses were established, as far as 1 can learn, about 1779. 
De Quctti'illc had two fishing establishments, one at Blanc Sablon, 
the other at Portcan, in 1774; and Pallc & Cic had an establish- 
ment at Admiral's I'oint in 1795. Boittillicr Prcrcs carried on a 

witi-:k1' Till': i'"isin':RS go. 53 

large trade at hie aii.v Bois about the same lime; and later the firm 
of Robin, which had been engag^ed in business in C"ai)e Breton, es- 
tabhshetl an agency near Long Point. 

These fishing estabhshnients were practically settlements, and a 
hamlet arose wherever the "Concern" was located. They had a 
lengthy list of clerks and helpers, who were paid exceedingly small 
wages. Usually the chief clerks were shareholders in the business ; 
and later some of them became the proprietors, whilst the under- 
strappers lived in respectable serfdom. 

West-of-England adventurers, Americans 

AD\'EXTURERS. and X^ewfoundlanders followed the Jersey 
merchants ; and we find the firms of Nich- 
olas Darby and Cartwright and Lucas in Cape Charles in 1768, and 
Xoble and Pinson in Temple Bay (Chateau) in 1768. An interest- 
ing lawsuit, tried before Lord Mansfield in 1780, arose out of the 
capture of two of Noble and Pinson's vessels, ''Hope" and "Anne." 
on a fishing voyage from Dartmouth and Waterford to Temple 
Bay. On the thirteenth of August of that year an American pri- 
vateer captured both vessels, and the firm of owners sued Kenno- 
way, the imderwriter, for the insurance. (Prowse.) Cartwright's 
"venture" at Cape Charles was an extensive one ; and from the 
gallant major's "Journal" we glean some interesting details of 
how things were done in those days. 

Cartwright evidently ruled with an iron hand, and doubtless a 
similar modus operandi obtained in the other "Concerns." He pun- 
ished refractory servants with the "cat-o'-nine-tails," and his naval 
training had taught him diverse other barbarous means of admin- 
istering castigation to his menials. These early establishments were 
not remarkable for the observance of the Christian virtues , and 
sobriety was evidently not held in great esteem. We have, in one 
instance, a "record" in Cartwright's Journal, which is devoted to 
an account of the "White Bear Settlement at Cape Charles" : 

"December 24, 1774, at night, all hands were drunk and fighting, 
according to custom." There were strikes on the score of "grub" 
at repeated intervals and general misconduct. 

Following those early settlements we find Slad^. established at 



St. Francis Harbor, Battle Harbor, and Venison Tickle; Hunt and 
Henly, at Hcnly Harbor, Grady and Long Island; Warren at Indian 
Tickle, and Mottv at Mnrrax's Harbor. 





"Richer treasures than the mines of Mexico and Peru." (Bacon.) 

The "Codlands" of North America had attracted the fishermen 
of the Western nations of Europe even as early as 1500; and 
it is recorded that, though the Northland was discovered by Eng- 
lishmen, other nationalities were the first to reap there "the harvest 
of the sea." The English, in the beginning of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, prosecuted a fishery in Iceland ; but they soon found their way 
across the Atlantic, and in 1540 vessels from London, Bristol, Bid- 
deford and Barnstaple were engaged in fishing on the Newfound- 
land Banks, and likely off the coast of Labrador. In 1610 the 
"Company of Planters," composed of the Earl of Northampton, 
Lord Bacon and others, was organized to promote the fishing in- 
dustry which contained "richer treasures than the mines of Mexico 
and Peru." The aggressive attitude of the French and the bounty 
system of the French government forced the Newfoundland fisher- 
men ofif the Eastern coasts of the "Old Colony" at the beginning of 
the last century, and then began the Labrador fishery of Newfound- 
landers, which has been vigorously prosecuted ever since. Whales, 
seals, cod, salmon, herring and mackerel were found along the coast 
in abundance, and the Labrador fishery is still a source of wealth 
seemingly unfailing. 

The whale fishery has been from earliest 
WHALE FISHERY, times an important industry along the 

western and southern coasts of Labrador. 
Basques and Bretons carried on whaling, even before the discovery 
of Newfoundland, in the North Atlantic; and from 1545 to 1700 
prosecuted the whale fishery in the Grande Bate (Lower Gulf), 
and presumably in the Straits of Belle Isle. We have no authentic 
records of whaling by English or American fishermen previous to 
1764. From that date Americans have carried on a successful 


fishery, in the earlier times along the south coast of Labrador and 
more recently in the North. Ncwburyport and Xew P.edford, in 
Massachusetts, were larj^e whalinj^ centres; and the latter is still 
regarded as the "home of the whaler." 

In former times whaling was carried on iu "brigs," each of 
which had several "whaleboats." 

The modern method of whaling is entirely difYerent from that in 
vogue in former times ; it is now conducted by steamers, which will 
be described in a subsequent chapter. 

The seal fishery is a very important 
THE SF.AL FISHERY, industry along the coast of Labrador. 

and it has been prosecuted from time 
immemorial. It has always been the chief fishery of the Esquimaux, 
and it is said that the constant feuds between them and the L'pper 
Coast Indians ( Moiitai^iiais) were occasioned by disputes over seal- 
ing grounds. Europeans, according to Abbe Raynal, prosecuted 
this fishery as early as 1763. This industry is prosecuted with great 
vigor by Newfoundland sealers; but their methods differ entirely 
from those in vogue on the coast of Labrador. Newfoundlanders 
carry on their sealing in large steamers, each carrying a crew pro- 
portionate to its tonnage. An average sealing crew is two hundre 1 
men ; and fishery is conducted amongst the ice floes of the Norlh. 
The Labrador seal fishery is carried on along the coast; it is 
known as an "inshore" fishery; and is prosecuted by means of nets, 
or "seal frames." These nets are made from large twine (com- 
monly known as "swile twine"), and they vary from twenty-five 
to forty fathoms in length, with a mesh of fourteen or sixteen 

In former times "hauls" of six or seven hundred 
CATCH, seals on the Labrador coast were not unusual ; but 
now the average catch rarely exceeds one-fifth of that 
number. This fishery is carried on from May to June loth 
(spring "run"), and from 20th November to loth or 15th December 
(fall "run"). It was formerly the largest item in the settler's 
fishery, and we find evidence of its importance in the names along 
the south and west sections of the coast ; there are numerous Seal 
"Islands," Seal "Rocks," and Seal "Bights." 



The seal is valual)le both on account of its "fat" and 
X'ALl'E. thr "licit." which in recent years has assumed great 
connnercial importance. It is even asserted that some 
of our Dongola Sunday slioes are the product of the vulgar "swile" ; 
and. "tell it not in Gath!" it is said that high-grade seal oil enters 
into some of the decoctions sold by cheap grocery stores as "Genu- 
ine Lucca. " 

Be this as it may, a quantity of Xewfoundland seal oil finds its 
wav into the Italian market everv vear. 

The seal of commerce which fetches the greatest price is known 
as "the Harp" — so called from having a broad, curved line of con- 
nected dark spots proceeding from each shoulder and meeting on 
the back above the tail, and forming something" like an ancient 

Two species of the "Royal Fish" are 

SALMON FISHING, found on the coast of Labrador; the 

Salmo salar (Linn), which is the "true 

salmon," and the Salino Immuclatus (Storer), which is known to 

fishermen as "salmon trout." (Packard.) 

This fishery has been vigorously prosecuted for centuries along 


the coast, from Bonne Esperance to Hamilton Inlet. It is carried 
on at the mouths of the larger rivers and in the inlets; but it seems 
that it is also doomed to extinction in the near future, owing to 
the recklessness displayed by fishermen who contravene the fishing 

Notwithstanding- the vigilance exercised by the Newfoundland 
government, the law is often set at defiance, and some fishermen 
have no scruple in destroying the "breeders." Salmon are a con- 
siderable item in the trade of the Moravian Missions and the Hud- 
son Bay posts at Cartzuright and Rigolette. They are exported, 
usually in tierces of three hundred pounds weight, but sometimes 
in smaller packages. Several experiments have been made within 
recent years to send salmon fresh across the ocean ; but none, as 
far as I know, has been a commercial success. 

The Esquimaux in the far north 
WALRUS AND NARWHAL, still hunt the walrus and nar- 
whal, but on Southern Labra- 
dor both walrus and narwhal are now practically extinct. 

Mackerel fishing also once formed a considerable 
MACKEREL, item in the fisheries of Labrador; but few of 
these valuable fish are now seen on the coast of 
either Labrador or Newfoundland. 

The herring fishery in past years 
THE HERRING FISHERY, was a very valuable industry ; but 

it has so declined in recent times 
that the genuine Labrador article is now rarely seen. The her- 
ring of the Labrador coast are reputed to be the richest and finest 
as regards quality in the world. They were taken in nets, or seined, 
during the months of September and October, and packed in bar- 
rels of two hundred pounds weight for export. In recent years few 
herring are seined on the coast. When Labrador herring were ex- 
ported in large quantities little care was taken of either the cure or 
packing, and complaints of a serious nature were frequent. In fact, 
it was almost impossible to find remunerative prices in any large 
fish-consuming centres, owing to the evil reputation of packers. It 


was not unusual in former times to find sundry rejectamenta of the 
"splitting" table packed amongst the herring. Some years ago part 
of a cargo was sold in Montreal for seventy-five cents a barrel — a 
net loss to the shipper of at least one thousand dollars on the 

The greatest asset of Labrador is its 
THE COD FISHERY, seemingly inexhaustible cod fishery. 

One rarely hears the word codfish — all 
other members of the finny tribe being qualified by their respective 
names. The cod fishery has been regularly prosecuted along the 
coast since 1700. Prior to that date English fishermen visited the 
coast at intervals, but no regular coast fishery was carried on. The 
Basques and Bretons had large fishing establishments in the Straits 
of Belle Isle in 1550. There were no settlers between the Straits 
of Belle Isle and Hamilton Inlet. Under the regime of Governor 
Palliser (1764-68) regulations were drawn up whereby "the Labra- 
dor fishery should be conducted as a 'Ship Fishery' " ; and in order 
to protect the vessels engaged in it, he established Fort Pitt, in 
Chateau Bay, placing it under the command of Lieutenant Adams, 
who held the position of civil and military officer. A great impetus 
was thus given to the cod fishery ; and, as we have already seen, 
several "Rooms" were then established along the south coast which 
were bases of supplies for the English and Newfoundland fisher- 
men who regularly visited it. Aittv the War of Independence, 
American fishermen frequented the coast in great numbers, and 
their catch exceeded the catch of English fishermen by 400,000 
quintals annually. This seems an exaggeration, but the accuracy of 
the figures is vouched for by reliable authority. (Robinson, R. N., 
quoted by Prowse.) 

Permanent stations were made towards the 
SETTLEMENTS, northward about 1782. Cartwright estab- 
lished the settlement which bears his name 
in Sandwich Bay in 1788; Hunt and Henly located at Long Island 
in 1800, Warren at Indian Tickle in 1830; and a few Newfoundland 
"planters" went north as far as Domino as early as 1825. New- 
foundland fishermen went down to Gros water Bay (Hamilton In- 



let) alx)Ut 1830; and ever since these venturesome "toilers of the 
sea" have pushed their \va\ n(jrth. They have now reached Cape 
C'hidley in ([Ue^t of the festive cod. I'i^liini.,^ on the south coast of 
Labrador Ijecanie uncertain about 1840; and the "planters" were 
forced to seek locations farther north. One of the first vessels to 
go north of Cai)e Harrison helonj^ed to my grandfather. I think 
her name was the "Traveller." The northern portion of the coast 
affords the most promising fishing grounds, as it is fringed with a 
vast multitude of islands forming a continuous archipelago from 
Cape Ailik to Cape ?\Iugford, and extends seawards possil)ly thirty 

^rAM^IOTII cooi-'isii. Photo, Holloicay. 

Outside these islands and about fifteen miles seaward 

BANKS, from them are numerous banks and shoals which form 

the summer feeding grounds of the large cod ; and a 

second range of banks, outside the shoals, which are probably their 

winter feeding grounds. 

This island-studded area is immense ; and it is estimated at 7,000 
scjuare miles. The Arctic current which washes these shores exerts 
a most beneficial influence on the fish life of these regions. The 
icv current flowing from the Arctic seas is in many places a living 
mass, a vast ocean of slime ; and the slime, which accompanies the 
icebergs and floes, accumulates on the banks of Xorthern Labrador 


and renders possible the existence of all these forms of marine life — 
from the crustacean to the diatom, together with the molluscous 
animals and starfish, which contribute to the sustenance of the .G[reat 
schools of cod which also find their home there. (Hind: Explora- 

The approximate value of the Labrador fisheries is $3,000,000 an- 
nually. From the "Customs' Returns" for 1905. we find that the 
total catch of fish (codfish) was seven hundred and thirty thousand 
quintals, which, if sold at an average price of four dollars per 
quintal, represents a value of $2,938,448. 


chai^ti-:r XI. 


"The sea was rough and stormy 
The tempest howled and wailec. 
And the sea fog, like a ghost. 
Haunted that dreary coast, 
P)Ut onward still I sailed. 

* 5ic :?: 4: ^ * 

So far I live to the northward, 
No man lives north of me." 
"The Discoverer of the North Cape," Longfellow. 

The fishery on the Labra- 

FLOATERS AND STATIONERS, dor coast is prosecuted 

chiefly by men from the 
northern and eastern bays of New'founfUand, and they are divided 
into two classes: "Floaters" (or "Green Fish Catchers") and "Sta- 
tioners" (sometimes called "Squatters," or "Roomers"). 

The former fish wherever the cod is found, and the latter are 
located in some harbor, creek or "bight" where they own a "Room." 

This "Room" — defined by Simmonds "A fishing station in North 
America" — is difiicult to describe, as it may consist of a substantial 
dwelling house, commodious stores, substantial wharves and land- 
ings ; or, as is the case in the recently settled places in the far North, 
it may consist of an 8xio shanty, a "bunkhouse" and a "stage" 
oftentimes roofless, and a "stagehead," or landing place, built of 
"longers" (poles about three or four inches in diameter), twenty to 
twenty-five feet long. 

Looking through an old diary of one of my mission trips to the 
coast, I find an entry which will describe accurately, if not grace- 
fully, the "Room" of a Northern "Squatter." I omit the locality 
for reasons which my fellow countrymen will understand, for the 
owner of the wretched establishment is a well-known dealer in a 
certain bav not one hundred miles from St. John's. 



"Monday, August 12, : 

"This is a decidedly drear)' day. To appreciate 
A"ROO]\I." this to its fullest extent, imagine a small island 

with precipitous, syenitic cliffs, inaccessible from 
any point except where the 'stage' is located. Perched on the south- 
east corner of this Crusoe's land there is a rude structure of the 
meanest proportions, roughly boarded on studs which have never 
been rinded, with joints through which a southeaster is whistling 
furiously ; the roof is covered with birch rind and sods, full of holes, 
through w'hich a drizzle is pouring ungraciously in silver beads upon 
ones head. 


"The 'fixings' (furniture) are in keeping with the other features 
of the establishment ; the floor is full of gaping apertures, perfectly 
bare, and apparently unwashed for weeks. The partition enclosing 
the sleeping apartment is built of rough lumber, whose edges have 
never been touched by plane or saw. There is nothing to sit on ex- 
cept a piece of three-inch deal, with four trenails for legs. A table 
of similar material occupies the end opposite the stove. The 'bunk' 
is covered w'ith a quilt which no Chinaman would wash for a 
dollar; toilet appliances, nil ; a much-battered tin pan and a large 
chunk of yellow- soap being the only ablutionary appurtenances in 


\\lll':i<|-. rill'". I'ISHERS GO. 

"TIk" i)]acf is (kcidcdly tiiry; the ventilation is even excessive, as 
Ixitli ll()f)r and sides have apertures through which any article of 
one's apparel niij^lit disappear without detection. Without every- 
thing is fully as cheerless as within. Close by, the multitudi- 
nous rejectamenta of countless repasts are scattered promiscuously 
for yards. Beyond the radius of this filth}- area there is nothing but 
desolation. A dense fog wraps the island in gloom, and 'solemn 
stillness reigns supreme,' save when the surf, swishing against the 
beetling clifTs. dashes its spray upon the southern gable of the hut. 


'- ^- ^^ 

. .'-^ ^' .- 





"The day is too 'coarse' (unfit) for fi-hing; and the fishermen are 
gathered in the 'lean-to' which serves as a 'bunkhouse.' Some of 
them are writing 'home," tlieir escritoire being the canvassed top of 
a sea chest. Others are playing a game of 'five and forty' with 
'gumbeens' for stakes; all are smoking 'Fisherman's friend' tobacco, 
which would be dear at twenty-five cents per pound." 

What a happy, jovial character is "the toiler of the deep!" There 
are other entries on this date ; but. satis. 

It must not be concluded that all the Northern fishing "Rooms" 
are of this class ; you fin 1 many of them clean, tidy and com- 
fortable. This is esjiecially the case "uj) the shore," though occa- 
sionally one meets with e\cn more unattractive places than the 
one described. There is one establishment, located on an island 
south of Cape Harrison, which even an American lady journalist 
considered "the limit" in the line of squalidity. 


The "Stationers" ordinarily are not owners of schooners ; they are 
"freighted down" to tlie coast every season in a schooner belonging 
to the "firm" with which they deal, or in a sealing steamer which 
has been specially chartered by some large "planter." "Freighted 
down" seems an extraordinary word to apply to human beings ; but 
to understand the precise meaning of this 

FREIGHTERS, word one must see a freighter discharge its 
human cargo at some Labrador harbor. The 
overcrowding on the schooners which formerly carried "freighters" 
to Labrador may be estimated from the fact that on board a vessel 
of fifty tons more than one hundred people were "herded" below 
decks, with hardly space enough to move in. The holds of these 
vessels were stacked to within four or five feet of the deck with 
barrels, boxes, fishing gear and the various etcetera which families 
in transit require for their daily needs. 

"Twine" (nets, seines and traps) was, according to established 
custom, piled upon the layers of things unbreakable, and the several 
families of "freighters" spread their bunks upon this, each family 
being allotted a section where the sanitation was not by any means 
conducive to health. The women folk were screened from mascu- 
line gaze by a partition of sails, and were subject to such discom- 
forts as none but the oldtime fisher folk could endure. 

Above deck the conditions were similar to those below, as the 
decks of the schooners were littered with boats, oars, moorings, 
domestic animals and sundry other paraphernalia. Cooking was 
sometimes an impossibility, and at best was of the most primitive 
kind, as the "galley" was usually inadequate to meet the require- 
ments of the heterogeneous crowd on board. 

The larger schooners went by the "outside" run, and usually 
made quick passages ; but the "hookers" kept close to the shore and 
harbored every evening, if possible. These were often a fortnight, 
sometimes longer, making the trip. The appearance of one of these 
on arrival at the Labrador port was by no means attractive. An 
American author who spent several years on the coast thus describes 
an arrival : "Among the late arrivals was a Newfoundland fishing 
smack which had two crews aboard, and with them six women, all 
unmarried, two of them mere girls, who Hved in the same cabin 
with the men, but stowed away in a corner of the apartment. They 



are paid about one dollar a week, and their work was 'to gut' 
and head, and split and salt the fish. Everything about the in- 
terior was forlorn, dirty and greasy, and not a soul aboard had 
apparently washed for weeks." This was, unfortunately, the nor- 
mal condition of fishing schooners in former years ; but legislation 
has remedied it to a certain extent. But even yet this "freighting" is 
a disgraceful proceeding, and drastic legislation is imperatively 
needed to remove this plague spot from the social fabric of the 
Ancient Colony. 


The "Stationers" usually leave the home ports 
STATIONERS, about the first week of June, or later, and 

return towards the end of October. A suc- 
cessful voyage means comfort and good times ; but an unfavorable 
season means debt and hardship. The "Floaters" have no fixed 
location, but "heave up" in their schooners or boats wherever fish 
is plentiful. Schooners vary in size from twenty to sixty tons, and 
boats are rated according to their carrying capacity in quintals. 
The word quintal in local parlance means 112 pounds. 


The "Floaters" leave the New- 
GREENFISH CATCHERS, foundland ports about the ist of 

June, and fish in the Straits of 
Belle Isle, from Mecatina Islands to Greenly; and, if successful, 
return to the home port with their fares and put out their catch to 
"dry" (or make, as it is termed by the fishermen). 

This making costs from 20 to 25 cents per quintal. If unsuccess- 
ful in the Straits, they go "down the shore," often as far as Cape 
Chidley. On their return from the north, many "Floaters" dry 
their catch at some point on the upper part of the coast and "ship" 
it to the supplier, who has a "foreigner" awaiting a cargo at head- 
quarters ; others take the fish to the home port, and when it is 
"made," either ship it at some large centre, such as Twillingate, 
Fogo, or Bonavista, or take it to St. John's, where usually better 
prices are obtained than at home. 

Formerly the outfit necessary for the fishing trip consisted of 
"Hook and Line," or "Jiggers" ; but in later years traps and cod 
seines have supplanted those primitive appliances, though one still 
finds the "hook and line" amongst the class of fishermen who are 
known as "punt fishermen." These are the class who are unable to 
purchase a trap or cod seine. 

These fishermen now use "bultows" or trawls, 

BULTOWS. but recent legislation forbids their use on certain 

sections of the coast. An old timer remarked to 

me some years ago : "There's no fishermen goin' these times — the 

traps is a lazy way of gettin' a voyage, and you can hardly find a 

man goin' to the fishery now who is able to 'genge a hook.' " 

American fishermen introduced seines on the coast of Labrador, 
and it is said that Captain Norman, of Brigus, introduced the cod 
trap. This distinction, however, is claimed by others. 

Traps are expensive items in the fishermen's account, 
TRAPS, as they cost six or seven hundred dollars, according to 

size. They are simply huge "pounds" into which the 
cod is inveigled by a wall of twine called a "leader." The size of 
the mesh is regulated by law ; it is supposed to be a three-inch mesh, 

68 w rill-: iisiiers go. 

hut notwitlistandinj^ every effort to enforce the law, two-and-a-half- 
incli mesh is common. 

The "haul" of a traj) is sometimes one hundred quintals, but this 
is of rare occurrence. 

The race for "trap berths" amongst the fishermen is very keen ; 
and the early starters for Labrador sometimes incur great risk in 
getting down to the northern harbors. Once the "moorings" are 
fixed, the "berth" is secure. 

Traps are "hauled" sometimes twice 

HANDLING THE FISH, every day, and the catch is brought 

to the "stage" in carteel boats or a 
trap skiff. It is "pewed" to the "stage head," and then passed on 
to the "cutthroat," who, with a double-bladed knife, sHts the fish ; 
it then passes to the "header," who removes the head and, like an 
augur of old, tears out the entrails, but without inspecting them. 
The liver is thrown into a receptacle known as "the liver puncheon." 
The disembowelled fish is then passed on to the "splitter," known 
usually by a mittened hand, who removes in a very de.xterous man- 
ner the backbone and shies it aside. The fish is then slapped into a 
dredge barrow and borne to the end of the stage to the salt bulk ; 
or, if economy in salt is a desideratum, it is stowed into puncheons, 
where it remains in pickle several days. 

It is then taken out and washed ; in this condition it is known as 
"water horse." 

Then comes the "making," or "drying." If the fisherman pos- 
sesses a "room," the fish is spread on "flakes" — scaffolds made of 
poles covered with "spruce" or "var" boughs — in the Straits of 
Belle Isle hand flakes are used. These are made of slats and can 
be removed when not needed. 

Fishermen who do not own a "room" spread the fish on the 
"bavvn" — presumably a Celtic term for beach. The curing of the 
fish takes several days of good clear weather, and great care must 
be exercised to prevent it from becoming either "slimy" or sun- 
burnt. Labrador fish is not cured "hard," such as the catch on the 
Newfoundland coast ; hence the great difference in the price received 
in foreign markets. When the fish is "made" it is shipped on board 
a "foreigner," or to the collector of the "firm" with which the 



fisherman "deals." Cash is rarely paid for fish shipments on the 
coast by local firms, but the shipper is given a "receipt," which is 
negotiable only at the merchant's office. 

The price is rarely stipulated, but it is understood that the shipper 
will receive "the current figure" — what that means is not known 
until later. 

Within recent years foreign buyers have invaded the mercantile 
preserves of the coast, and they |)a\- cash for the catch, to the great 
chacrrin of the local magnate. 

'Koo.MS." Copyright, Outing Pub. Co. 





"() fortunati Mercatores." (Horace.) 


The merchant, in the fisherman's vocabu- 
THE MERCHANT, lary, is the outfitter who provides the sup- 
plies for the fishing industry. The busi- 
ness house of this worthy is known as "the firm," or "the concern" ; 
and the principal of the "firm" is known as "The Boss," or "The 
Skipper." He is of varied type and quality. It is difficult to define 
this personage ; we only attempt to describe him. 

The merchants of early days came from 
OLD MERCHANTS, the British Isles, many of them "out of 

Poole and the Isles of Jersey." The sole 
possessions of many on arrival in the Northern lands were unlimited 
confidence in themselves, a suit of homespun, and such personal 
belongings as might fit comfortably within the folds of a red ban- 
danna. There were others who had seen service in the merchant 


ships of Britain ; those brought with them their quarter-deck tyranny 
and profanity. The precepts of the Decalogue were left behind, 
and they anticipated Kipling, for they rejoiced that they had found 
a retreat where "There ain't no ten commandments, and a man 
can raise a thirst." 

Opposed to all progress and development other than their own, 
often engaged in serious feuds amongst themselves, their sole am- 
bition was centred in the accumulation of wealth — honestly, if con- 
venient, but, if needs be, otherwise. Out of this class arose what 
was known in Newfoundland in former times, the class known as 
the "Codfish aristocracy." They became leaders of Colonial soci- 
ety, and after a more or less eventful career they retired to the 
banks of the Mersey and the Clyde to spend the declining years of 
a strenuous life "far from the madding crowd." 

It is said that on the departure of one of the ancient merchants 
from the colony, he stood on the bridge of the vessel which bore 
him away, waved his hand in adieu, and said : "Good-by, poor New- 
foundland fools !" He had accumulated a fortune from "cods' tails." 

The older merchants were bitterly opposed to every movement 
inaugurated for the betterment of the condition of colonial fisher- 
men. In the early days they opposed the settlement of fishermen 
in Newfoundland ; they opposed the establishment of courts of 
justice, and the agitation for local government in 1832 was de- 
nounced by these exacting taskmasters as "outrageous." One of 
these fossils — Peter Ougier — is said to have made this statement 
as an argument (?) against Colonial government : "They are ac- 
tually making roads in Newfoundland. Next thing they will have 
horses and carriages and driving about." 

Ougier embodied his ideas in a pamphlet which was published in 
Poole, in order "to give an etilarged view of the fisheries and trade 
of Newfoundland." 

The mercantile clique opposed the establishment of a custom 
house many years before ; and their policy towards Colonial trade 
development was always one of bitter antagonism. 

In 1855 the coterie opposed the movement for Responsible Gov- 
ernment, and the records of mercantile despotism are writ large upon 
the pages of Colonial history. 

With the retirement of the older class of merchants there arose 


another class, differing little from their progenitors, excepting pos- 
sibly in their undisguised contempt for the fishermen whose labors 
they coined into bonds and consols. These worthies did business — 
when not otherwise engaged — between the hours of lo a. m. and 
3 p. m., but they rarely if ever came in contact with the fishing 
class, except during election time, when they deigned to proffer a 
gloved hand to an outport planter. They had a stafif of clerks 
sufficiently large to conduct a chartered bank, with salaries ranging 
from two hundred to six hundred dollars per annum. Clerks with 
large families sometimes received the munificent salary of three 
hundred dollars per annum, working from daylight till dark. Doubt- 
less this class existed when the following incident occurred : 

"They spent their Sunday afternoons firing at champagne bottles 
on a gumphead at the end of the wharf; the man who knocked the 
head off a bottle won a case, the one who missed had to pay for 
one." (Prowse's History of Newfoundland.) 

Another class came into being in the '6o's ; and many of these 
are still in the fiesh. To realize to the fullest extent the serfdom 
and misery of the fishermen under the regime of the "merchant" of 
the ancient type, one must Hve amongst the fishermen as I did for 
many years. The brand of servitude is even visible in the physique 
and the character of fishermen of certain localities in the "Old Col- 
ony," and it is a fact that a special type has been developed in certain 
fishing districts that were worthy the attention of the ethnologist. 

Caste is not seemingly a peculiarity of Brahminism ; it is found 
amongst fishing people. 

The fisherman in olden times didn't know the entrance 
CASTE, to the merchant's house by the front door; he in- 
variably took the rear ; he never got beyond the pre- 
cincts of the 5)orch or kitchen. Occasionally a "well-to-do" planter 
was invited to dine with His Mightiness. The fisherman dared not 
aspire to a front pew in his village church if the merchant hap- 
pened to be of the same denomination ; it was the old story of 
Naboth's vineyard. 

The merchant, though his "justice and hoUness of life" was not 
a recognizable quantity in the community, often presumed to advise 
youthful "shepherds" how to deal "with those rascally fishermen." 


His justice and observance of the cominandnient which says, "Thou 
shalt not bear false witness," might often be represented by an alge- 
braic X, yet he thanked the Lord, very audibly at times, that he was 
not "like unto this" fisherman, for possibly the latter had not paid 
the balance on that barrel of Hour for which he had been charged 
eight dollars (the market price was $4.50). 

Occasionally, in a ht of religious generosity, the magnate loosened 
his purse strings and adorned the parish records with a subscrip- 
tion to some parochial undertaking ; this was usually paid in kind. 
He invariably manifested the deepest concern in the collection of 
the clergyman's fees from "the dealers," when it happened that 
the said clergyman had a lengthy account "at the office," but not 

Formerly in Newfoundland the clergyman's fees 
OLD TIMES, were collected entirely through the merchant's 

office ; but this custom is no longer in vogue, and 
the "hoop and steelyard" are relegated to the limbo of crinolines and 
Mother Hubbard bonnets. 

It was not unusual in former years 
STRANGE BUSINESS, for a "planter" who had a substantial 

balance at the end of the fishing season 
to leave it "on the books" of the merchant. Whenever he needed 
money he drew it from "the office." In many, perhaps the majority 
of cases, no interest w'as ever allowed to the planter. Some years 
ago, within my own recollection, a planter needed the sum of fifteen 
hundred dollars to pay for a residence which he had purchased. 
He applied to the custodian of his moneys for the amount, but the 
latter denounced the enterprising planter for his extravagance in 
making such a purchase, but after demurring for some time he con- 
descended to hand out a check for the amount. Towards the end 
of the season there w'ere sinister rumors concerning the stability 
of the firm with which the planter had placed his funds, and an old 
clergyman advised the latter, who w^as one of his parishioners, to 
deposit "the balance" in the government savings bank. He with- 
drew it from the firm, but the planter discovered that he had not 
been allowed any interest on the amount, nearly four thousand 



dollars. He was informed by the merchant that the trouble of keep 
ing it was more than an equivalent of the interest. Six months later 
came the disastrous bank crash; the "firm" assigned, with liabili- 
ties of hundreds of thousands ; assets, the firm's name and its 

reputation. (?) 

In former years, at the time of the adjustment 
SETTLIXCil'P. of fishermen's accounts, usually in Novem- 
ber, dozens of stalwart fishermen might be 
seen lounging around the mercantile establishments, waiting to 
"settle up." Meanwhile, the goods on sale in the merchants' stores 


were being sold at cash price. Clerks wearing for the nonce the 
blandest smile talked up the wares, and unloaded the contents of 
the shelves on the fishermen and their sharemen. After days of 
patient waiting the final adjustment came: and the toiler received 
a statement which read : "Balance payable half in cash and half in 

What became of the fishermen who had no balances? Ah! that's 
another question. Ask the Commissioner of Charities ! 

Happily, within recent years a new type of 

A NEW TYPE, merchant has arisen — a man who knows the 

meaning of the hardship and labor of "the 


toiler." He pays hard cash for his wares, and he is the friend and 
confidant of the fishermen ; he has hkely been one himself. He 
knows every detail of the fishing business ; he doesn't need "to call 
the head clerk" to know how many bundles of linnet are required to 
mesh a trap ; he knows the diflference between a merchantable fish 
and a "rounder," and he is content with a reasonable profit on his 
goods ; he does not "cull" the fisherman's "voyage" as "Madeira" 
and "damp," and recull it when it enters his fish store. He is a 
man who does business and does not eliminate any of the command- 
ments from Decalogue. 





'Get nioiK'v ; >till j^ct money, boy; 
No iiuittt-r l)y what iiu-ans."" 

(ben JOHNSON.) 

"Trading" has been an important featnre of Lab- 
TRA13IXG. rador business from early times, and it began when 
the Frencli adventurer bargained with the ^b:)n- 
tagnais and the Ks(|uimaux for the products of the chase, and it 
still continues. The harvests of the trader were extensive, and in 
former times they were as large as the returns from the fisheries. 
Pelterie was in the beginning the object of the trader's quest; and 
the Indians of the coast supplied foxes, martens, beavers, minks 
and other fur-bearing animals to the trader in abundance. 

The Indians received small returns for their wares, whilst indi- 
viduals and chartered companies reaped rich harvests from the 
spoils. Labrador supplied sables to the court and the grandes dames 
of His Most Christian Majesty's realm during the ancien regime, 

WIll'.RK Till'". 1-ISllERS GO. ^^ 

and its foxskins even reached the realms of the Czar. Sables then 
formed the most important part of the pelterie trade, as the little 
animal {Mitstela Amcricoua) was found in abundance. Its im- 
portance as an article of commerce may be gleaned from the fact 
that 15.000 skins were exported from Labrador in one year by 
a chartered company as long ago as 1743. and the more recent 
imports into Great Britain from all quarters have exceeded 100.000 
skins annually. 

Chartered companies monopolized the pelterie 
COMPANIES, trade on the coast of Labrador until the arrival 

of Cartwright in 1776, and his rivals, Noble and 
Pinson, of Temple Bay, in 1778. These traders were constantly at 
variance, and no language was too expressive for Cartwright to use 
against his hated rivals. In vituperation he could even seemingly 
have given points to a Newfoundland editor ! Cartwright was a 
trader with a love for sport and natural history far keener than for 
business. He met with serious losses, the greatest being the plunder- 
ing of all his possessions by "that lying rascal, John Grimes, com- 
mander of the privateer Mincrz'a," of Boston. One of his own 
servants, "that villain Dominick Kinnen," joined the crew of the 
privateer and piloted the vessel. Cartwright took the loss very 
philosophically, and consoled himself with the expression: "Mav 
the devil go with him !" 

Jersey traders followed Cartwright. their operations being con- 
fined to the Straits of Belle Isle. 

The first traders who visited the 
AMERICAN TRADERS, upper section of the Labrador coast 

were Americans, hailing chiefly from 
New England ports. 

They carried on trading in connection with their whaling ven- 
tures, and invariably forgot to meet the requirements of the imperial 
customs. As early as 1706 New England traders were evidently a 
source of trouble to the home authorities, as we read in "Lord Dart- 
mouth's Report." 1706: "New England traders supply our (fishing) 
trade with provisions . . . and great quantities of tobacco 
. . . and they seldom depart till men-of-war are sailed . . . 


they carry on an illegal trade." Later, during Lord Shuldam's 
regime as governor of Newfoundland (1772 to 1774), "the New 
Englanders gave trouble on the coast of Labrador." The name 
"trader" was in early years synonymous with "smuggler," and it 
retained this meaning up to within recent years. 

The lure of the Labrador trade attracted 
NOVA SCOTIANS. the attention of Nova Scotians more than 
a hundred years ago, and for many years 
an enormous trade was carried on between the Province and the 
Straits of Belle Isle and the upper Labrador ports. It is a well- 
known fact that some of the large business firms in Nova Scotia 
owe their "beginnings" to the trade carried on in the Straits of Belle 
Isle. These traders occasionally carried large quantities of Dem- 
arara rum with their cargoes, and many are still living around IVcst 
St. Modeste who remember the business ( ?) methods of many of 
these enterprising peddlers. Some of them always carried a punch- 
eon of red liquid on deck, and visitors to the vessel could regale 
themselves with copious libations from the tin pannikin which was 
attached to the faucet of the rum barrel. 

Some of these enterprising gentry were not hampered by customs' 
restrictions ; but if they happened to come in contact with a revenue 
officer on the coast in early days, they treated him so courteously 
that occasionally the R. O. forgot his allegiance to the Newfound- 
land government, and failed to collect the duties. But this was 
in the long ago ; to-day the revenue officers are ever on the alert ; 
and it is said that the trader's business is not so lucrative as formerly. 
Running the gauntlet was not an unusual thing in those days ; it 
occurred during one of my visits to the straits, and contraband 
goods were not unfrequently brought into Newfoundland-Labrador 
territory under cover of darkness, and even at daytime. The con- 
signment was then concealed beneath two or three tiers of large, 
plump codfish, and the custom's official never suspected the game. 
This modus operandi was in vogue less than twenty years ago. 
Settlers along the coast between Bradore and West St. Modeste 
have told me strange stories of the "doings" of some of these 
traders in past years. I remember once remarking to an old 
Canadian, who is still living at the "Tickle," that I had seen an 



extraordinary number of green cases marked "J. D. K." amongst 
the settlers further west. He repHed : ''O dat's not'ing, dese only 
small lot; de res' she's bur'd." Later I discovered the burial place 
of dozens of cases of cheap Holland gin ( smuggled originally from 

St. Pierre) in the sand dunes at ; they were not to be 

disturbed till the Newfoundland custom's officer had left for home ! 

Some enterprising traders are said to have done business even in 
the matrimonial line in the absence of the minister ; but the fees 
were paid in kind, usually a good foxskin or a beaver ! 

Nova Scotia traders did not seemingly confine themselves to fish 
and furs ; they dealt in eggs, as the following extract from the 
"Journal" of Audubon, the famous naturalist, testifies : 


''June 21, 1833 . . . We ascertained to-day that a party of 
men from Halifax took nearly forty thousand eggs, which they sold 
at Halifax and other towns at twenty-five cents per dozen." 

On June 28 Audubon found two "eggers" gathering the eggs of 
murres. "They had collected eight hundred dozen and expected to 
get two thousand dozen. The number of broken eggs created a 
fetid smell on this island scarcely to be borne." 

Among the "Episodes" published in his "Ornithological Biog- 
raphies," Audubon has a highly dramatic one. entitled "The Eggers 
of Labrador." 

He describes a shallop with eight men : "There rides the filthy 
thing ! The afternoon is half over ; her crew have thrown their 

8o Win-.RF. TIIF. inSIIKRS GO. 

boat overboard, then enter and scat themselves, each armed with 
a rusty gun. ( )iic of them sculls the skiff towards an island — 
for a century past the breeding place of myriads of guillemots, 
which are now to be laid under contribution. 

"At the approach of the vile thieves, clouds of birds arise from 
the rock and fill the air around, wheeling and screaming over their 
enemies. Yet thousands remain in an erect posture, each covering 
its single egg, the hope of both parents. The reports of several 
muskets are heard, while several dead and wounded birds fall heavily 
on the rock or into the water. Instantly all the settling birds rise 
and f\y off affrighted to their companions above, and hover in 
dismay over the assassins, who stalk forward exultingly, and with 
their shouts mingled with oaths and execrations. Look at them. 
See how they crush the chick within the shell, how they trample on 
every egg in their way with their great clumsy boots. Onward they 
go, and when they leave the isle not an egg that they can find is 
left entire. The dead birds they collect and carry to their boat 
. . . The rum is produced when the birds are fit for eating, and 
after stuffing themselves with this oily fare, over they tumble on 
the deck of the craft, wdiere they pass the night in turgid slumbers 
. . . The 'Eggers' of Labrador not only rob the birds in a cruel 
manner, but also the fishermen whenever they can find an oppor- 
tunity ; and the quarrels they excite are numerous . . . This 
war of extermination cannot last many more years. "' (Townsend: 
"Along the Labrador Coast.") 

Newfoundlanders entered 
NEWFOUNDLAND TRADERS, into the trading business 

more than a century ago. 
and the methods of the local trader were very similar to the gentle- 
men from abroad. Southern traders did a lucrative business in the 
Straits of Belle Isle ; and they were not overscrupulous in their 
methods of dealing with the "liveyere." Large consignments of 
liquids from Saint Pierre were sometimes found, amongst the car- 
goes, which found a ready demand in the Straits of Belle Isle and 
Southern Labrador. Later the Eastern and Northern traders be- 
gan to visit the "French Shore" and Upper Labrador, with the 



result that the unfortunate settlers remained for generations in a 
state of debt and misery. 

The quality of goods and the prices which traders obtained for 
their wares were not always in accordance with strict business 
methods, and some shady transactions are recorded. Two, amongst 
many other practices, came under my observation many years ago. 
Presumably other visitors to the coast have witnessed similar repre- 
hensible acts. 

One firm did an extensive trade in "Black Jack" (St. Kitts' mo- 
lasses) and moist sugar. The quality of the former was improved 
by the addition of sundry lumps of laisJakcd lime; the quantity of 
the latter was increased by judicious inixiii;^ with Cadiz sand. 

TRINITY. Photo, Hollozcay. 

Traders from Quebec and the lower 
CANADIAN TRADERS, sections of the~ St. Lawrence have 
( See page 50. ) also frequented the coast of Labra- 

dor for many years ; and they carried on business on the same lines 
as the Nova Scotian visitors. During my early years on the coast 
I met them frequently, and many of them had accumulated large 
fortunes in dealing with the settlers. Some of these traders were 
also regular visitors to St. Pierre both on the outward and return 


The gentry from Beyrouth have recently dis- 
THE SYRIAN, covered the great blace for bisness, down to 

the Labrador, and shoddy wares and jewelry 
are not infrequently exchanged for valuable skins and salmon. 
These gentlemen no buy fish — too big; no good, can't sell 'em. 
Within recent years, however, the Newfoundland trader does legiti- 
mate business, and some of the traders are now a blessing to the 
settlers along the coast. They pay hard cash, if necessary, for the 
products of the fishermen, and thus enable them to keep beyond 
the clutches of merchants who play well, if not artistically, a well- 
known character in the "Merchant of \'enice." 




"Friend, once 'twas Fame that led thee forth 

To brave the tropic heat, the frozen North, 
Late it was Gold, then Beauty was the spur ; 
But now our Gallants venture but for Fur." 
Lines attributed to Dryden. 1672. (Beckles Wilson.) 

The trading ventures mentioned in the preceding chapter were 
isolated and individual attempts to gather the spoils of the Northern 
regions ; but they were insignificant when compared with the opera- 
tions of the "Great Company," founded by Prince Rupert in 1670. 
Rupert occupies a romantic niche in the temple of fame ; but he is 
probably best known by his connection with the great organization 
known as "The Hudson Bay Company," of which he w'as the 
founder. Associated with him was the Sieiir des Groseillers — 
Mederic Chouart, whose wife was the daughter of the pilot, Abra- 
ham Martin, the "Eponymous hero" of that plateau adjoining Que- 
bec, where a century later was to take place the mortal struggle 
between Montcalm and Wolfe. 

To Groseillers, though he did not become a member of the cor- 
poration, must really be attributed the clearing of the ground for 
the erection of the "one enduring pillar in the new world mansion." 
("The Great Company.") 

The charter of incorporation of the "great company" was granted 
to "Prince Rupert and seventeen nobles and gentlemen," amongst 
whom were the famous Ashley (Dryden's "Achitopel") : 

"A man so various that he seemed to be 
Not one, but all mankind's epitome," 

and Arlington, who was also a member of the famous cabinet 
whence originated the word "Cabal" ; the other members of this 
infamous combination were Clififord, Buckingham, and Lauderdale. 
The charter was granted to them under the title of "The Governor 

84 Wni'.RK THI>: 1-lSTIRRS GO. 

and Company of Merchant-Adventurers trading into Hudson's Bay." 
This charter was confirmed by act of Parliament in 1690, but has 
never since been renewed. 

Hudson ]5ay (or Hudson Sea, as it really is) is said to have 
been reached by Sebastian Cabot in 1517, but the discovery is ac- 
credited to Henry Hudson (whose name it bears), who entered it in 
1610, and met an untimely end, owing to the mutiny of his crew, 
who set him adrift, with his son and five others, in a longboat, which 
was captured by the natives, who put the unfortunate occupants to 

The bay which bears Hudson's name is an immense area of water 
one thousand three hundred miles in length, by six hundred miles 
in breadth, extending over twelve degrees of latitude and covering 
an area of half a million square miles. 

It is now on the eve of becoming an important commercial centre, 
as recent explorations made by the Canadian Government have 
demonstrated the practicability of utilizing it as an outlet for the 
grain products of the "Great West." The Newfoundland sealing 
steamer "Neptune," under command of the famous navigator, Cap- 
tain Bartlett, opened it as a practicable sea route in 1904-05. 

After Hudson, the bay was visited by Button, another English 
navigator, in 1612; and two islands north of Cape Chidley bear his 
name. Bylot and Baffin (the discoverer of Baffin's Bay) visited it 
in 1615; and Fox and James (the discoverer of James' Bay) ex- 
plored it in 1 63 1. 

I'Vench and I'jiglish conflicts in the northland arose out of con- 
cessions to the "Great Company," as the French claimed that the 
territory adjoining Hudson's Bay belonged by right of discovery to 
Nezc France: and in 1672 Albanel and St. Simon, with the con- 
sent of the Indian tribe — the Kilistinous — planted the flcnr-dc-lis 
and the cross at several places, in token of the sovereignty of 
France over the territory. During the last decades of the seven- 
teenth century the friction between the French companies and the 
Hudson Bay company continued, and we find amongst the defend- 
ers of the cause of France names of men whose prowess and tri- 
umphs shed lustre on her arms — D'lbcn'illc, dc Troves, and JoUcttc. 
Such was their triumph that, at the date of the Treaty of Rysivick 
(1697), and even up to 171 3. the date of the Peace of Utrecht, only 



Fort Albany remained in the hands of the English. By this treaty, 
however, France reHnquished all her rights to the Hudson Bay 
Company, and the latter thus gained secure possession of the ter- 
ritory which it occupied until it relinquished its territorial claims to 
the Dominion of Canada, during the administration of Sir John 
Macdonald, in 1869, for the sum of one million five hundred thou- 
sand dollars, "the Company to be at liberty to carry on its trade 
without hindrance, in its corporate capacity." 

The history of the Hudson Bay Company is a romance of empire. 
and though shorn of much of its greatness, its "ships still ply in the 
waters of the North. Its canoe brigades still bring in fur to the 
fur posts. Its midwinter dog trains still set the bells tinkling 
over the lonelv wastes of Northern snows, and it still sells as much 


fur at its great annual fairs as in its palmiest days. But the Hud- 
son's Bay Company is no longer a gay adventurer setting sail over 
the seas of the unknown. It is no longer a soldier of fortune, with 
a laugh for life or death, carving a path through the wilderness. 
It is now but a commercial organization with methods similar to 
other money-getting companies Free traders overrun its hunting 
grounds. Rivals as powerful as itself are now on the field fighting 
the battle of competition according to modern methods of business 
rivalry. Three-quarters of the old hunting fields are already carved 


up into checkerboard squares of new provinces and fenced farm 
patches." (Conquest of the Great Northwest — Laut.) 

Its "Posts" on the coast of Labrador are found between Fort 
Chimo and Sandwich Bay; the latter location (at Cartwright) was 
purchased from Hunt and Henly, who had acquired it from the 
original founder, George Cartwright, in 1815. 

It was at this "Post" that the incident which story tellers have 
worn threadbare, in connection with the letters H. B. C., actually 
occurred. When Newfoundland fishermen began to frequent the 
northern part of the coast, a boat's crew landed at Cartwright, en 
route to what is now known as "Pack's Harbor." All five were 
sons of the Emerald Isle, who had come out to Newfoundland some 
time previously; none of them, excepting the "Skipper," had seen 
the Labrador coast till this year. One of the crew was a waggish, 
fairly educated "youngster," and he was regarded as an "Encyclo- 
pedia" by his comrades. They were searching for water to "bile 
the piper" ; and they noticed everywhere around the "room" — on 
boats, canoes and fishing gear — the letters "H. B. C." They were 
anxious to know what this symbol meant ; and one of the crew 
addressed the "Encyclopedia," and said: "Larry, what's the meanin' 
of thim big letters?" Larry was equal to the situation, and replied : 
"Well, these fellows must be here a long time ; and the letters 
mean: 'Here Before Christ.' " This is the true genesis of the story 
which has, of course, been usually attributed to an American trav- 
eller. The chief post of the company is located at Rigolette, in 
Hamilton Inlet, famous amongst other things as being the place 
where the present Lord Stratchona, the world-known philanthropist 
and man of affairs, began his commercial career. 

He represented the "Company" there for many years ; and it was 
there, doubtless, he laid the foundations of the immense wealth 
which he now distributes so lavishly in the promotion of Canadian 
institutions and imperial interests. 

Other peaks are located at Davis Inlet, Nachvak Bay, and at 
North-West Rirer, at the head of Melville Lake. The last men- 
tioned has recently acquired pathetic notoriety through the unfortu- 
nate expedition which cost Alonzo Hubbard his life, and gave to us 
Dillon Wallace's two interesting books — "The Lure of the Wild" 
and "The Long Labrador Trail." 


The exportations of the H. B. C. consist of furs, in the North, and 
in the Southern sections, sahnon and trout. The natives and the 
Indians (Naskopis, Montagnais and Esquimaux) never seem to rise 
beyond the stage of debt and abject misery, though apparently the 
Company reaps a rich harvest from the products received from the 
hunter and fisherman. "]\Ioney" (at these "Posts") is unknown. 
Values are reckoned in "skins" — that is a "skin" is the unit of 
value. There is no token of exchange to represent this unit, how- 
ever, and if a hunter brings in more pelts than are sufficient to pay 

■Jl *Jg.HJ i . i '»-,,-iiiMi_B)H.,Jl ».<«.' ■ , .ii W i i ijl i ,,-.« "' VV^- ' *M.ft.yi|- ' .»*" ! «.'- J ' '■'■>» ! y-t.>-' a-'-JH .- — , ' " ;! ' i. ' "y.''iJSk'^ \ 

RiGOLET. Copyright, Dana-Estcs Co. 

for his purchases, the trader simply gives him credit on his books 
for the balance due, to be drawn upon at some future time. As a 
matter of fact, the hunter is almost invariably in debt to the store. 
A "skin" will buy a pint of molasses, a quarter pound of tea or a 
quarter pound of black plug tobacco. A white Arctic fox pelt is 
valued at seven skins, a blue fox pelt at twelve, and a black or silver 
fox at eighty or ninety skins. 

South of Hamilton Inlet, where competition is keen with the fur 
traders, the company pays in cash, six dollars for white, eight dol- 
lars for blue, and, not infrequently, as high as three hundred and 
fifty dollars, or even more, for black and silver fox pelts. 


A formidable rival to the Great Company lias recently entered 
into the Labrador fur trade ; and prices of furs have, in consequence, 
advanced materially. This rival is the firm of Revillion Bros., of 
Paris, who now have several agencies along the coast ; and their 
business has reached large proportions. During the past season 
(1907) they had under contract, visiting their stations, the largest 
sealing steamer in Newfoundland, the Adventure. Evidently the 
trade of the coast is a lucrative venture, as the following statistics 
prove : — 

Exports of Furs for 1905 $32,976 

(Extract Newfoundland Customs, 1906.) 






The Moravian mission has an interesting history, and as it has 
products of their labors, giving them necessaries and comforts in 
exchange." (Harvey, "History of Newfoundland.") 

The Moravian mission lias an interesting history, and as it has 
a bearing upon the Labrador stations, we give a brief outhne of 
the foundation and development of the Unitas Fratrnm. 

The Moravian Brethren are a link in a chain of 

ORIGIN, sects beginning with Wyclif (1325-84), and coming 
down to the present day. Wyclif 's teachings found 
congenial soil in Bohemia ; and they became the creed of the 
Hussites, whose founder, John Huss, was condemned by the Council 
of Constance, in 141 5. The dissensions and feuds amongst the fol- 
lowers of this reformer are matters of history. 

The two chief factions, known as "Taborites" and "Utraquists" 
(Calixtines), decided their difficulties in a "decisive battle on May 
30. 1434." The "Taborites" gradually disappeared, or were merged. 
a generation or two later, into the "Bohemian Brethren." This 
organization owed its origin to Gregory Rokyzana, a nephew, of a 
former "Utraquist" leader. Gregory's aids were Michael, a parish 
priest of Kunwald, and a farmer named David. The distinguishing 
tenets of the organization at this early period were rather vague, 
one faction denying, the other proclaiming, the truth of the Real 
Presence in the Eucharist. The factions were again united under 
Bishop Matthias of Kunwald, at the synod of Lhotka, near Reich- 
neau, in 1467; and the Brethren began to order the community on 
the model of the primitive Church. The governing power was 
centred in a council presided over by a judge. Four seniors, or 
elders, held episcopal office ; the priests had no property and were 
encouraged to celibacy ; and the strictest morality and modesty were 
exacted on the part of the faithful. All acts subservient to luxury 
were forbidden ; oaths and military service were permitted only in 
very exceptional cases. A committee watched with relentless sever- 


ity over the behavior of their sisters. They led a precarious exist- 
ence, and were finally suppressed by Ladislaus 11, who ordered 
their books to be burnt and recalcitrants to be imprisoned. At this 
time the Brethren were treated by their contemporaries to several 
opprobrious designations, such as Jamnici (cave-dwellers), Pimii- 
cini (beer-house men), Bnnslan Brethren, and Pickarts (Pickards). 

After this persecution the Brethren 
FOREIGN SYMPATHY, began to look for foreign sympathy. 

The philosopher Erasmus compli- 
mented them upon their knowledge of truth ; but refused to commit 
himself further. . . . Luther objected to their doctrine on the 
Eucharist, to the celibacy of the clergy, and to the belief in the 
Seven Sacraments. 

One of the Brethren, Lucas, denounced Luther on account of the 
low Standard of Church discipline amongst the Lutherans ; but 
later, under the regime of John Augusta, the Brethren reopened 
negotiations with Luther ; but no union between the two sects was 
effected. Then followed a period of troublous times ; and dis- 
sensions within, with persecutions from without, well nigh brought 
about the extinction of the "Brethren." In 1731 they again revived 
under the leadership of Zinzendorf (d. 1760), who established a 
community at Herrnhut. Zinzendorf was banished from his native 
land "for ever" by the King of Saxony, in 1737; and during his 
exile he established congregations in Holland, England, Ireland, and 

The English Mission, with headquarters in London, was estab- 
lished in 1742; and it is claimed that John Wesley, the founder of 
Methodism, here received "the grace of conversion." The Mission 
henceforward is known as the Society of the "Unitas Fratrum." 

In 1734, the Unitas Fratmm 
AMERICAN SETTLEMENTS, obtained a foothold in Geor- 
gia, U. S., where Governor 
Ogelthorpe granted them 500 acres of land (Spangenberg, the 
negotiator, receiving a present of 50 acres for himself near the site 
of the present city of Savannah). They soon relinquished that 
field, and came to Pennsylvania, where they built Bethlehem. Sub- 


sc(iuently. ihcy established, on the same plan, Hope, in Xew Jersey 
(which enterprise proved a failure), and Salcin, in North Carolina. 
( llerzo^. Ency. Real. cd. Schafif, \'ol. Jl.) 

The status of the i'liitcis frotruin may be gleaned from the fol- 
lowing statistics (last available) : — 

Wesley later became estranged from the 
j()Il\ WESLEY. Brethren, and his former friendship turned 
to open hostility (Wesley's Journal, Xov. 
12, 1741). London is still the headquarters of the Mission. 

On January i, 1907, in the five northern dis- 

IX AMERICA, tricts, there were 96 congregations, with a 
total membership of 20,369 ; receipts from all 
sources, $145,517.67. Expenses exactly balanced receipts. 

In the Southern Province there was a membership of 4,206. 
Total membership in both Provinces, 26,211 — an increase of 334 
over the previous year. 

In Great Britain and Ireland, at the same date, there were 4 1 
congregations, with a total membership of 6.343. 

TJie German Provinee, 31 December, 1905, had 25 congregations, 
with total membership of 7,958: 50 missionary Provinces ("the 
Diaspora"), in which about 70,000 persons are ministered to. ""The 
Diaspora"' (from diaspora, captivitw in 1 Pet. 1. i ) is a work car- 
ried on by the (jerman Province, and having for its object th: 
evangelization of the State Churches on the Continent of Europe 
leiiluntt depriz-int:; thent of their members. (Herzog: Ency. 
lid. Schafif.. vol. III.) 

In Labrador, begun 1777: Alaska. 1885; 
MISSIOX FIELDS. California, 1890; Mosquito Coast, 1894: 

Surinam, 1735; Demerara. 1878; Jamaica, 
175.;; St. Thomas, 1732; St. Jan, 1754: St. Croix, 1740; Antigua, 
1756; St. Kitts, 1777; IJarbadoes, 1765; Tobago, 1790; Trinidad. 
1890; Cape Colon}-, 1736; Cierman East Africa, 1891 ; West Hima- 
laya, 1853; Jerusalem, Leper House, 1867; X'ictoria, 1849; Xorth 
Queensland, 1891. 


The most important field from a commercial 

LAND GRANTS, standpoint is evidently Labrador, for here 
the Mission is a landed proprietor to the ex- 
tent of several hundred thousand acres ; and its trade receipts are 
nearly fifty thousand dollars annually. The Mission holds, by Royal 
and Colonial grants : — 

100,000 acres of land in Esquimaux Bay (or at any place the 
Society might elect). 

100,000 acres at Okkak. 

100,000 acres at Hopedale. 

1,000 acres at Maccovick. 

An application has been made for a grant at Ramah. 

Trading is an important feature of the Missionary enterprise of 
the Society of the Uiiitas Fratnim. 

Previous to the year 1870 the office of Trader and Missionary 
was vested in the one individual; but in that year "the Mission found 
it advisable to modify their system of combining trading and 
evangelization, so as to separate the office of missionary from that 
of trader, at Nain, Hopedale, and other settlements. This was 
done, not because any doubt existed in the minds of those who have 
tl-e direction of the mission or the trade as to the lawfulness of their 
connection from the highest point of view, but merely because a 
change of feeling on the part of the natives; in some cases aris:n\^- 
out of the gross misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the 
objects of the trade, which made the position of. the trading mis- 
sionary often very trying and difficult, seemed to indicate the ex- 
pediency of adopting the plan of appointing agents who should go 
forth in true missionary spirit to carry on trade in support of the 
mission, and for the benefit of the natives, as a service for Christ, 
no less than the direct missionary calling. 

Exports of the Moravian Church and Missionary Agency from 
Labrador for the year 1905 : — 

Codfish, 4,035 qtls., value $21,149 

Trout, 798 bbls., value 4,788 

Skin Boots, 3,224 pairs 5,849 

Seal Oil, 353 puns, value 7,200 

Cod Oil, 41 puns, value 910 

Cod Liver Oil. 3 puns, value 96 


Furs, 1 1 pkgs., value 7,000 

Dry Seal Skins, 5 pkgs., value lOO 

Salted Seal Skins, 7 pkgs., value 200 

Reindeer Skins, 5 pkgs., value 800 

Curios, 15 pkgs., value 150 

Feathers, 12 pkgs., value 150 

Salmon, 6 tcs., value 50 

Total $48,442 

Moreover "the generous and paternal practice of the Mission is to 
keep back from export a certain amount of dry codfish, which they 
return to the natives, in winter, at the price the Mission paid for it 
in the summer. The retention of exports and selling them back 
to the natives, is of course a departure from strict business princi- 
ples, but it serves to illustrate the way in which the Moravian Mis- 
sionaries combine their trading with the patriarchal care they extend 
to the natives." 

"In 1902 the Mission cancelled very generously and considerately 
the indebtedness of the natives to the several stores of the mission. 
They thus started each man with a clean sheet, and on a new system 
of business, under which comparatively more moderate advances 
are made to natives." (McGregor: Report, p. 31.) 

The first attempt 
ravian Brethren to 
found a settlement on the coast of Labrador was made under the 
auspices of "The Society for the furtherance of the Gospel amongst 
the Heathen" — an organization formed by members of the Moravian 
Church, in London. 

A schooner — the "Hope" — sailed with a band of Missionaries 
from this port in the spring of 1752. At Hopedale, they erected a 
dwelling ; but "treachery developed amongst the Esquimaux and 
some of the ship's crew were murdered." Later, an attempt was 
made by Christian Erhardt and his companions to found a colony at 
Nisbet's Harbor (Ford's Bight), but Brother Erliardt and five of 
his crew were murdered by the savages ; and the four Brethren, who 
had accompanied him to Hopedale, returned home. 


In 1764 Jans Haven made a landing at Chateau, where he met 
some Esquimaux, but no settlement was effected. 

In 1765 Governor Palliser of Newfoundland undertook the civili- 
zation of the savages; and four missionaries — Brothers Haven, 
Hill, Schlotcer and Drachart, again made an effort to establish a 
mission ; but it seems that here, too, they were unsuccessful. In a 
Proclamation issued by the Governor of Newfoundland, April 8th, 
1765, he says: "I have invited Interpreters and [Missionaries to go 
amongst them (the Esquimaux), to instruct them in the principles 
of religion, and to improve their minds and remove their prejudices 
against us. I hereby enjoin and require all His ^Majesty's subjects 
who meet with any of the said (Esquimaux) to treat them in a most 
civil and friendly manner . . . not to impose on their necessi- 
ties, not to foment quarrels, discord or animosities amongst them." 
The Proclamation is an interesting document. 

To protect the Esquimaux and the Missionaries, and "for the 
general protection of British trade and fishery" a Block-house was 
established in Chateau Bay, which received the name of Fort Pitt. 
The ^fission of the Society in this region was not successful ; but, 
in 1 77 1, a settlement was made at Nain (Lat. 56° 25'). 

A second station was founded at Okkak, one hundred miles south 
of Nain, in 1776. This station has a small Hospital, in receipt of a 
subsidy from the Newfoundland Government, conducted by Dr. 
Hutton, a capable English physician. Another station was estab- 
lished at Hopedale, in 1782. Hebron and Zoar (recently aban- 
doned) were founded in 1834. Ramah was located in 1871 ; and 
recently two other stations have been established, Maccovick in 1898, 
and one in the far North (Killinek), in 1907. 

These Stations are well built, substantial erections. They con- 
sist of a residence for the Missionaries and their wives, a chapel, 
which is at some stations under the same roof as the Mission build- 
ing, commodious stores, some outbuildings, and an Esquimaux set- 
tlement, consisting of an array of squalid huts of various shapes 
and sizes. These houses are small, one room affairs, made of logs 
or rough boards and poles, the roofs generally covered with green 
sods. Each house has a low, dark vestibule, suggestive of the 
architecture of the snow dwellings. Cleanliness in and about the 
houses is not of the highest order. There are dogs galore, for each 

C/) rill': i-isiikrs go. 

family has from seven to nine of these animals. Komatiks, or dog- 
sleds, arc lyini,'- about promiscuously, while kayaks hang against the 
sides of the l)uil(Hngs. 

At eacli mission station are the missionaries and their wives, who 
are called the brothers and sisters; also the unmarried brethren, all 
laboring together to Cln-i-'liani/.e and civilize the natives. Only the 
younger children of the missionaries are allowed to remain on the 
coast, as at seven years of age they are sent to Europe to be edu- 
cated at the expense of the society. Some of these return later as 
missionaries. The link witli luirope is supplied by the Society's 
ship — the "}larmony."" In the early days of the Moravian Society 
the missionary entered the matrimonial >tate 1)\ lot: but this feature 
of the cjld ])olity no longer exists. 

i.\Di.\N m r AT iioi'i-:i>.\i.i:. 

At each mission station one sees several neat, trim, well-cultivated 
gardens, similar to those one sees in the Vatcrland (the missionaries 
are practically all Teutons). 

In early days there was a great deal of friction between the vari- 
ous missions and the Hudson Bay Company ; but within recent 
years the Company has become well disposed towards the Mission- 
aries. The friction arose out of the rivalry for trade in which both 
were engaged. Many of the Hudson Bay posts on the southern 
section of the coast have been abandoned, so there is now no casus 



Some years ago a rival organization attempted a settlement within 
the jurisdiction of the Mission, but the attempt was abandoned. The 
total number of Esquimaux on the coast, under the jurisdiction of 
the ^Moravians is less than thirteen hundred, of whom some are still 
pagans. These are found in the far North, in the region of Killi- 
nek (Port Burwell), and a few years ago a zealous missionary of 
the Anglican Church, the Rev. Mr. Stewart, attempted their conver- 
sion. When the Moravians assumed charge of Killinek section Mr. 
Stewart retired to Fort Chimo ; but here the territory was already 
occupied bv the Rev. Mr. Peck, who has been many years lal)oring 


amongst the Ungava natives. "He has devoted his life to the 
instruction of the Esquimaux ; and he is ably assisted by two 
younger men, both of whom have had medical training. The total 
number of Esquimaux reached is about five hundred, and they are 
all connected with, and depend upon the whaling stations of Black- 
head, Kekerten. and Cape Haven." 


"After all I have seen of the work of this Mission 
RESULTS, on Labrador, I am bound to say that I know of no 

body of men or women that more deserve respect 
and sympathy in their lonely, completely unselfish, and devoted 
work, for which they receive no reward in this world, seldom even 
approbation or recognition." (McGregor: Report.) Another 
writer says (after a trip along the coast in the mail-boat) : "Alas! 
that this primitive people (the Esquimaux) with their wonderful 
adaptations to life in the far north, with their houses, their clothing, 
their weapons and their boats, evolved out of long centuries of con- 
flict with the elements to a state of utmost perfection, should not 
have been allowed to lead their own lives. It could not be. Con- 
tact with the rude explorers and traders, who treated them as slaves, 
to do with them as they chose, necessarily developed the worst side 
of their character, and their fate would long ago have been sealed, 
as a race, had it not been for these Moravians, who by kindness and 
long-suffering, and by privations unnumbered, made them the happy, 
leaceful, God-fearing people we have just seen." 




"I venerate the man whose heart is warm, 

Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose Hfe, 

Coincident, exhibit kicid proof 

That he is honest in his sacred cause." 

— "The Task," Cow per. 


We have already dealt with 
AMONGST THE ESQUIMAUX, the supposed earHest mis- 
sionary to Labrador — the 
Trading-Evangelists, otherwise known as "The Moravians ;" but 
the Icelandic Sagas (which are regarded by scholars as historic 
documents of undoubted value) represent the Northland as having 
been visited by two Icelandic missionaries, Odalhrand and Thor- 
wald Helgason, in 1285. If they followed the route of previous 
Icelandic explorers they came by way of Labrador, as did ThorUnn 
Karlsfen, who from 1007 to loio was engaged in exploration in the 

loo WTiKRi-: rill-, iisiiicks c;o. 

northland. The earliest Missionaries of Labrador were conse- 
quently Catholic priests, as at this date the Icelandic Church was in 
communion with the Sec of Rome. We have it on undoubted 
authority that Irish missionaries were established in Iceland in the 
\'th century, when St. Aiblem, Bishoj) of Emly, sent twenty-two of 
his disciples to evangelize that country. Eight Irish missionaries 
were buried there, and a church was dedicated to St. Columba. 
These facts are found related in the Skalhort Saga, now preserved 
in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington. From the "BnUarium 
Pontilicnm" (a Collection of the Decrees of the Popes), we find 
that, in the year 840, the Holy See delegated Ebbon, Archbishop of 
Rheims, and St. Anscarius, Apostle of Northern Europe, to preach 
the faith in Iceland and North America. (Howley: "Ecclesiastical 
History of Newfoundland," p. 32.) 

Further we learn that : — 

'Tn mediaeval Iceland the Bishoprics of Skalhort (south) and 
Holan (north) were suffragans of the See of Bremen (the "Rome of 
the North"). There were several religious foundations in Iceland 
the Benedictines possessed, amongst others, Thingorc. founded in 
1 133; Hitardall, founded in 1166; and Stad, founded in 1296: The 
Augustinians had several houses, chief of which was Maddcrheld 
Priory, established in 1296; and Skird. founded in the middle of the 
XRTh century. Two Icelandic Bishops, Thorlak, of Skalhort. and 
John of flolcDi, were men of singular distinction. 

"The Reformation which obliterated the Catholic Church amongst 
the Teutonic peoples extended to Iceland ; but here, as elsewhere, 
it had a one-sided efTcct ... it left their circumstances little 
changed, or, if at all, for the worse." ( Ency. Tiritaunica, \'ol. XII, 
p. 620 and seqq.) 

We have no further information regarding missions in Labrador 
until the coming of the Moravians, in 1764, though it is claimed, 
but without any evidence which seems tenable, that the French Mis- 
sionaries to the Montagnais Indians also attempted the conversion 
of the Esquimaux many years previous. 

We have already discussed the advent of missionaries amongst 
the French colons who had located at Brest. These were presum- 
ably "Recollets" or, as we now know them, Franciscans. 


The foundation of mis- 

AMOXGST THE MONTAC^.XAIS sionary work amongst 

AND NASKOPIS. these aboriginal tribes 

was laid by Franciscans ; 
and the work was continued by the Jesuits, whose missionaries are 
still laboring amongst the Indian tribes in the West ; and the zeal 
wliich cliaracterized the martyrs Lallemant, Breboeuf, Jogues and 
Aulneau, is still characteristic of the Sons of St. Ignatius. Park- 
man has written the history of their labors ; and no page of human 
annals is so emblazoned with heroic deeds. It was my privilege to 
live in close contact with some of the Jesuit missionaries who are 
now laboring amongst the Indian tribes in the West ; and no words 
can adequately describe their worth. "Si nionnuicntiDU quacritis, 
circiiDispice." No other missionary enterprise has such a history, 
and in New Ontario and the further west, you find, in such places as 
Wickwemakong and Nome, perhaps the noblest monuments of mis- 
sionary' zeal on this continent. These Jesuits are men of intelli- 
gence and tireless energy. They live amongst the children of the 
forest ; they have no regular abode ; they receive no salary, but de- 
pend exclusively on the charity of the well-disposed. Their lodging 
is often the wigwam, or a comfortless vestry attached to their mis- 
sion chapels, where they do their own cooking, when they have the 
wherewithal for a meal. They are hewers of wood and drawers of 
water when occasion demands it ; they have no earthly ties ; and 
they look for reward not on earth, but beyond the skies. 

A tribute to the Catholic missionary just comes from an authorita- 
tive source ; and, as it has reference to the same noble band of 
missionaries as we are now discussing, the utterance is very timely. 
In an address delivered at the Wesleyan Missionary Exhibition at 
Leeds, a few days ago, Sir Robert Hart, late Inspector of Customs 
for China, said : — "Although many of you may not agree with me, I 
cannot omit, on an occasion like this, to refer to the admirable work 
done by Roman Catholic Missionaries, among whom are to be found 
the most devoted and self-sacrificing of Christ's followers. The 
Roman Catholic missions have done great work both in spreading 
the knowledge of our God and our Saviour, and more especially 
in their efforts in the cause of deserted children and afflicted 
adults. Their organization as a society is far ahead of any other. 


and they are second to none in zeal and self-sacrifice personally. 
One strong point in their arrangement is in the fact that there is 
never a break in continuity, while there is perfect union in teaching 
and practice and practical sympathy with their people in both the 
life of this world and the preparation for eternity. The Roman 
Catholics were the first in the field, they are most widely spread, 
and they have the largest number of followers." 

In the "hinterland" of the land of Labrador there is a noble band 
of men laboring unselfishly, and unostentatiously in the Waster's 
vineyard — the Oblate Fathers. The organization to which these 
heroic types belong was founded, a century ago, by Charles de 
Mazenod, a missionary, and subsequently Bishop of Marseilles. 
The Fathers of this missionary society have been laboring in the 
wilds of the north for three generations ; and the names of Arnauld, 
Durocher, Babel, Lacasse and Lemoine are familiar to everybody 
acquainted with the history of the coast of Labrador. To Father 
Arnauld's enterprise we are indebted for the first map of the coast ; 
and this is so authentic that recent explorers have found "its 
accuracy wonderful." 

The influence which Pere Arnauld exercised over these Indians 
was extraordinary ; and it appears to have 
P£RE ARNAULD. been well deserved by numerous acts of 
charity, deeds of daring, and much self- 
denial. The heroic deeds and numerous hardships of Fathers La- 
casse and Lemoine are matters of recent history. The former 
is, with the exception of the Agents of the Hudson Bay Company, 
the only white man who has ever crossed the Labrador peninsula. 
He made two journeys between 1875 and 1880; and the "Diary" of 
these missionary expeditions is the only accurate account of the 
great "hinterland" we possess. In later years he made his journeys 
via Newfoundland ; and his name is familiar 
PfiRE LACASSE. to every fisherman along the coast of Labra- 
dor. Father Lacasse is still engaged in 
active missionary work in Manitoba; and he regards his former ex- 
ploits on the coast of Labrador as simple and "unimportant events." 


I am in possession of many records of this noble missionary, but his 
modesty forbids their publicity. Father 
PfiRE LEMOINE. Lemoine is still laboring amongst the 
Montagnais ; and few men are better ac- 
quainted with this band of Indians than he. To him I am indebted 
for much of the knowledge I possess regarding Indian life ; and to 
those who wish further acquaintance with the literature of the 
North, I recommend his works on the subject. These Oblates are 
doing noble and valuable work for civilization and Christianity 
amongst the denizens of the frozen north, doing it patiently, 
heroically and silently. 

The settlers on the coast of 
AMONGST THE SETTLERS. Labrador are generally known 

as "liveyeres" (doubtless a cor- 
ruption of live heres, as the people in this region usually "drop the 

The total population of "liveyeres" is, approxi- 
POPULATION. mately, 2,700, at present writing. According 

to the records of 1891 the following was the 
denominational census of the coast : — 

Church of England 1.749 

Church of Rome 354 

Methodist Church 604 

Presbyterian Church 2 

Moravian Church (practically all Esquimaux) i>397 

Total 4,106 

To meet the religious requirements of this population, and to ren- 
der such services as the transient population of fishermen demands, 
the Churches in Newfoundland have extensive missions along the 
coast, which are entrusted usually to young, active laborers in the 
vineyard. Some of these are resident on the coast, whilst others go 
down there during the fishing season. These have no means of 
locomotion in the summer time other than that afiforded by fishing 
boats or, when crossing large inlets, a schooner or the fortnightly 
mail boat. 


The Catholic Church was the pioneer 
CATHOLIC CHl'RCH. of mission work on the coast of Lab- 
rador; and, whilst the Labrador mis- 
sions belonged to the Ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Archdiocese 
of Quebec, they were regularly visited by Canadian Missionaries. 
In i8jo, during the Episcopate of Bishop Plessis, Labrador and 
Anticosti were united to the \'icariate of Newfoundland ; but owing 
to scarcity of priests in the colony, missionaries from Quebec visited 
the coast until the erection of the parish of Fortune Harbor, in 1834. 
The Labrador missions then became part of this extensive parish. 
From that date Newfoundland priests have visited the coast regu- 
larly, though Canadian priests still have jurisdiction on Newfound- 
land-Labrador. Only one Newfoundland priest has ever resided on 
the Coast — the Rev. F. D. McCarthy, now Pastor of Carbonear, who 
built a neat Mission House at Pinware during his residence in the 
Straits. In former years, two priests from the Diocese of Harbor 
Grace visited the coast every summer ; but since the exodus of 
Catholics from Battle Harbor, and the migrations of "up-the-shore" 
planters to the far north, only one missionary now visits the shore. 

The Catholic Bishops of Newfound - 
CATHOLIC BISHOPS, land have made regular visitations to 

the coast ; the first prelate to under- 
take this arduous work being Bishop Mullock, in 1852. Bishops 
Dalton and Carfagnini made visitations from 1857 ^o 1880 (the lat- 
ter built the Church at Battle Harbor). Archbishop MacDonald 
made visits between 1882 and 1895, and Bishop March, the present 
zealous incumbent of the See of Harbor Grace, than whom few are 
so intimately acquainted with Labrador, has, since his consecration 
in 1906, already twice visited this distant section of his large dio- 

From reliable data I have been 
EARLY MISSIONARIES, enabled to locate the missionaries 

who visited the coast, as far east 
as Pinware, from 1799 to 1863: — 


Gabriel LeCourtois 1799 to 1814 

Pierre Bourget 181 5 to 18 16 

Thomas McGuire 1817 to 1818 

C. J. Primeau 1819 to 1827 

Pierre Beland . 1828 to 1832 

Ferdinand Belleau 1832 to 1833 

Francois Bou(;her 1833 to 1834 

The Oblates at Escoumains from 1845 

-M. R. Boi'ly (who built the Church at I'inware) 1862 

I\I. A. Bernier 1863 

These priests had headquarters at Tadousac ; and made regular 
visits to the Straits of Belle Isle and the southern section of the 
Labrador coast. 

The Church of England has been 

CHURCH OF ENGLAND, sending missionaries to Labrador 

REV. JOHN LEIGH. since the early part of the last 

century, and the Reverend John 
Leigh is said to have made a visit to the Straits in 1823. 

The next missionary of this Church to 
ARCHDEACON DIX. visit Labrador was Archdeacon Dix. 

who from 1826 to 1830 was Incumbent 
ot Bonavista. 

Bishop Field visited the coast in 1848, and in 1849 the first 

Clergyman of the Church of England 

RE\\ A. GIFFORD. was placed in residence at Forteau. This 

was the Reverend Algernon Gifford, who 

remained there for ten vears, removing thence to New Zealand. 

In 1850 a second clergyman, the Rev- 
REV. H. P. DISNEY, erend H. P. Disney, who gave up his 

living in Ireland to engage in mission- 
ary work, went to reside at St. Francis Harbor, and in 185 1 he built 


the first Church on this part of the coast. Since then, missionaries 
have been in constant residence on Upper 

BISHOP FIELD. Labrador. Bishop Field visited these settle- 
ments regularly, in the Mission ship "Hawk." 
In his "Journal" for 1853 he writes: — "I am looking forward to a 
third visit to th"e Labrador Coast, and to all the settlements on the 
north and west side of Newfoundland. In this I expect to cele- 
brate the first consecration of a Church, and the first confirmation 
on the Labrador, and I trust to mark many other signs and proofs 
of the Church's progress on that desolate and wild shore." Later 
we find the following entry : — "We gladly accepted an invitation to 
drink tea in the Mission-House at Forteau, and, saving the wooden 
walls of the room, and the side of a Canadian stove flush with the 
wall (the body of the stove being in the kitchen, and serving for 
culinary purposes as well as warmth), we might have fancied our- 
selves in one of the neat parlors of an English parsonage, with all 
its hospitalities and comforts. ..." 

During one of his mission tours to the Coast, Bishop Field became 
acquainted with a very promising young man named Gibbons, pre- 
sumably a half-breed Esquimau, and brought him to Newfoundland, 
where he was educated at one of the Church institutions. He after- 
wards made a course at King's College, W^indsor, and entered the 
ministry of the Anglican Church. A resident of Windsor, who was 
a fellow student at King's informs me that Gibbons was a very 
brilliant student, and "the only thing suggestive of the Indian in him 
was his glossy black hair." 

In 1879, t^^ superintendence of the northern missions of the 

Church of England was entrusted to 
REV. J. J. CURLING, the Rev. J. J. Curling, "whose liberal 

benefactions have been distributed all 
over the Island" (of Newfoundland). This zealous missionary had 
been an engineer-ofiicer in H. M. Navy, and resigned his position 
to devote his life to the missions of the West and North of New- 
foundland. He labored zealously, gave abundantly of his means 
to the Diocesan wants, and presented his yacht "Lavrock" to 
the Diocese for mission work. "No more devoted servant of the 
Church has ever labored more abundantly to win souls than did this 



young engineer officer." (Prowse, "History of Newfoundland," 
Appendix, p. 15.) 

A permanent misson at Hamilton In- 

REV. MR. QUINTON. let (Groswater Bay) was established 

in 1885 by Rev. Mr, Quinton, a man 
of zeal and indomitable energy. He spent the best years of his 
life on the coast ; and his name is held in veneration by the "live- 
yeres" of rugged Labrador. The Rev. F. W. Colley, the present 

incumbent of Carbonear, spent several 
REV. F. W. COLLEY. years on the coast, succeeding the Rev. 

]\Ir. Quinton, whose health became im- 
paired on account of the arduous work which his duties exacted. In 


later years his mission has been attended by a "lay-reader." Amongst 

the resident clergymen at Battle Harbor 

REV. J. H. BULL, in recent years, must be mentioned the 

Rev. J. H. Bull, the present incumbent of 

Brigus, X. F., who was a physician of soul and body to the settlers 


friend of the pour and needy; and he is still remembered in the 
lonely land as a man of sacrifice and worth. 

Reliable data regarding the early 
METHODIST CHl'RCH. missions of the Methodist Church 

on the coast arc few. It is recorded 
that Rev. Mr. Remington visited the southern section of the coast 
in 1815; and, subsequently, "attempts were made to establish mis- 
sions between Hupcdalc and Belle Isle;" but they do not seem to 
have been successful. In the "Report of Missions for 1829," it is 
said '"The Labrador Mission is for the present abandoned, princi- 
pally on account of the removal of the Esquimaux tribe from the 
coast to the interior of the country and their general dispersion." 
(Prowse, op. cit.) 

Mission work was resumed in i860, and it has been vigorously 
carried on ever since. There are now two permanent missions, one 
at Red Bay and another at Hamilton Inlet ; and at other sections 
there are mission churches and schools. 

Amongst the Indian tribes on the Labrador 
EDUCATION, coast the education of the children is part of 
the ministerial duty. 

At all the Moravian stations the education of the children is 
attended to with care ; and practically all the Esquimaux are able to 
read and write. The children begin to attend school at the age of 
seven and continue until they are able to take part in the hunt or 
attend to domestic duties. Besides the ordinary rudiments the 
Esquimaux are taught trades , and in some cases singing and instru- 
mental music. It is not an uncommon thing to find Esquimaux who 
are fairly accomplished musicians. To promote a taste for reading 
amongst them the Mission at Nain has a printing-press, which pub- 
lishes a small newspaper, printed in their native tongue ; it goes by 
the name of "Aglait Illnnainortut," and is largely circulated. We 
have never seen any returns of the Moravian educational establish- 
ments ; but presume that illiteracy is rare amongst the Esquimaux. 

This unfortunately is not the case amongst the "liveyeres," and it 
is incumbent on the Government of Newfoundland to help these 


scattered remnants of civilization to obtain the benefits so largely 
possessed by the Indian tribes. 

In the last available Returns of Labrador Schools we find there 
were fifteen schools in operation, with an attendance of 427 schol- 
ars, at a cost of $2,100 or. approximately, five dollars per capita. 

Of course many of these schools are very primitive establish- 
ments and the teaching is not necessarily of a high standard, though 
it is a matter of surprise to realize the proficiency of some of the 
pupils attending these rudimentary schools. In connection with 
educational matters I had a rather unique experience wdien attempt- 
ing to establish a school at Barachois some years ago. The popula- 
tion there is mixed (French and English), and the teacher must be 
necessarily a bi-linguist. I had several applications for the position 
of teacher; but of the many I received not one was indicative of the 
necessary qualifications which even a Labrador school demands. I 
submit the following, which is, I fancy, one of the most ex- 
traordinary applications ever received by a school commissioner. 
The caligraphy w^as in keeping with the orthography : 

Le Barrachois. 
le vingt troi Aoute. 


je vous demmandes si vous me donnerai I'ECol poure ansignere 
set Hiver. je sui ben instrui, est je pouras faere le catchisme et le 
Lecture aus anfeng. Mon salare est 5 louis et le manger. 

votre amis. 




"There are magic lures in the open air, 
There are wondrous things for the eyes." 

—"Call of the Northland." 

Nature has been lavish in her bounties to the 
NATURE. "Nolfing of the West." Its coast-line is studded with 
islets; and within its noble fiords, the majestic cat- 
aract, the dimpling stream, the age-worn crag, the ice-shaved pla- 
teau, are a never-failing source of interest. What a history it un- 
folds ! A history of continental glacial ice, wearing down rocks and 
grinding out lake-basins — a history of deep seas, bearing boulder- 
laden floes of ice, dropping their burdens as they floated over — a 
history of stranded icebergs and irresistible currents — a history of 
gradually emerging land, of changing coast-lines, and of continual 
change in the position of travelled rocks — a history of frosts, snows, 
swollen lakes and rivers — of long dreary winters, and short scorch- 
ing summers. 

But most bewildering of all reflections is the age — the infinite 
age — of the rocks of the Labrador Peninsula. What exposure to 
elemental warfare ! — what a lonely experience of the changes which 
this world has undergone ! The earliest known continent, the longest 
above the sea, dry land during the countless ages which formed the 
great Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous periods. First, ice- 
covered for ages, during which frozen epoch it underwent that 
change in surface to which Greenland is now being subjected; then, 
possibly, dry land, when all the south and west were deeply covered 
with the ocean, and the immense secondary deposits were being 
elaborated all the way from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, — slowly sinking and submerging during part of the Tertiary and 
post-Tertiary periods to the depth of many thousand feet, — slowly 
rising subsequently fully three thousand feet above the ocean level. 



yet preserving still the safe bold front, though far more worn, but 
much less troubled than in those dim and distant ages at the close of 
the Laurentian period, when it emerged fresh and new from a 
Laurentian sea. (Hind, Explorations.) 

The Fisher's land does not present subjects to the scientific mind 
only ; it offers attractions to the sportsman and lover of nature. Its 
streams and purling brooks teem with speckled beauties, which have 
never yet been tempted by the artificial fly. They are free to every 
disciple of the gentle Izaak who dares to seek these haunts of happi- 
ness unalloved. 


Caribou roam unmolested over the barren wastes ; and the willow- 
grouse and partridge are in abundance. Sport knows no restric- 
tions ; and there are no professional guides to relieve you of your 
comfort or your coin. 

Countless icebergs in shapes and forms fantastic, bluff, beetling 
crags and sombre-hued headlands mirrored in the sea are tempting 
subjects for the artist's brush and pencil. 

112 \\iii:Ki-: Till": fisiii-:rs go. 

The days are lonj^ and balmy ; and when daylight dies 
"The sunbeams melt along the silent sea." 
Nothing more impressively beautiful can be conceived than a Labra- 
dor sunset when every moiuitain-top is bathed in a splendor of shift- 
ing light. 

The granite-browed summits seem to melt in a rosy mist. 

"The rock is softer than the cloud; no leaf is twirled; and the 
silence of eternity seems falling on the world." 

Even the atmosphere of the Northland has its own secret of 
beauty and clianns the eye with aspects which one may be par- 
doned for believing incomparable. The blue of distant hills and 
mountains is subtle and luminous to a degree that surpasses admira- 

We had anchored in a little harbor which was bordered imme- 
diately by a gentle ridge some three hundred feet high ; beyond this 
ridge, to the west, rose mountainous hills, while to the south, where 
was the head of the harbor, it was overlooked by a broad, noble 
mountain. It had been one of those white-skied days when the 
heavens are covered by a uniform, filmy fleece, and the light comes 
as if it had been filtered through milk. 

But just before sunset this fleece was rent, and a river of sun- 
shine streamed across the ridge at the head of the harbor, leaving 
the mountain beyond, and the harbor itself, with its wooded sides, 
in the shadow ; and where that shine fell, the foliage changed from 
green to a luminous red-brown. Beyond it, the mountain was still 
garbed in gray ; nearer, the woods stood out in clear green, and 
separated from these by the sharpest outline, rose this ridge of 
enchanted forest. Never were colors in the artist's paint pot more 
definite and determined. 

This was but the beginning. I had turned away, and was debating 
with myself whether some such color, seen on the Scotch and Eng- 
lish hills, had not given the hint for those uniform browns which 
Turner in his youth copied from his earliest masters. When I looked 
back the sunshine had flooded the mountain, and was bathing it in 
the purest rose red. Bathing it ? No. the mountain was solidly con- 
verted, transformed to that hue! The power, the simplicity, the 
translucent, shining depth of color were all that you can imagine, if 
you make no abatements and task your imagination to the utmost. 


This roseate hue no rose in the garden of Orient or Occident ever 
surpassed. Small spaces were seen where the color became a pure 
ruby, which could not have been more lustrous and intense had it 
proceeded from a polished ruby gem ten rods in dimension. Color 
could go no farther. Yet if the eye lost these for a moment, it was 
compelled somewhat to search for them, — so powerful, so brilliant 
was the rose setting in which they were embosomed. 

One must remember how near at hand all this was — not more 
than a mile or two away. Rock, cavern, cliff, all the details of 
rounded swell, rising peak, and long-descending slope could be seen 
with entire distinctness. The mountains rose close upon us, broad, 
massive, real — but all in this glorious, this truly ineffable transfor- 
m.ation. It was not distance that lent enchantment here; it was not 
lent; it was as real as rock, as Nature; for enchantment so imme- 
diate and on such a scale of grandeur and gorgeousness — who could 
stand up before it? . . . 

This evening the spectacle of the preceding one was repeated, 
though more distinctly and on a larger scale. Far away the moun- 
tain height tovvcrcd, a marvel of aerial blue, while broad spurs 
reaching out on cither side were clothed, the one in shiny rose-red, 
the other in ethereal roseate tints superimposed upon the azure ; and 
farther away, in the northeast, a mountain range lay in solid car- 
mine along the horizon, as if the earth blushed at the touch of 
heaven. All the wildness and waste, all the sternest desolation of 
the whole earth, brought together to enhance each other, and then 
relieved by splendor without equal, perhaps in the whole world — that 
is Labrador." (Packard: "The Labrador Coast.") 

But Nature does not exhaust her fascinations with the going down 
of the sun ; for when the shadows fall there comes the bewildering 
charm of the Aurora Borealis. 

I recall one glorious summer night at Shop Cove, near Cape 
IVebec. I stood looking out upon the Atlantic, whose surface shone 
like the face of a mammoth mirror ; it was nearing the hour when 

"Amber midnight smiles in dreams of dawn." 

Suddenly there came a sound which seemed the rolling of distant 
thunder. Looking skywards, I saw the heavens aglow ; and then, in 
the twinkling of an eye, there was a flash of irridescent gleams, now 



green, now blue, now tinged with lambent flame ; it was the Aurora 
Borealis, whose motions in these latitudes seem like "fierce, fiery 
warriors which fight upon the clouds, in ranks and squadrons, and 
right forms of war." 

An immense curtain of light had spread across the sky, waving 
its folds like the canopy of a tent, and then radiations of purple, 
pink, and green and orange sported about the heavens like waves 
upon a mysterious shore. Huge pencils of light of various colors 
ranged themselves round a blank space near the zenith, formed a 
corona, and then suddenly vanished. 

We have learned what nature teaches on this rugged coast; now, 
what of art? There is none, save "some frail memorial, with un- 
couth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked ;" so we must imitate 
Shakespeare's hero; '"'let's talk of graves," and read the epitaphs 
"spelt by the unlettered muse." 


Nearly every section of the coast has some quaint inscriptions 
upon the frail memorials of departed friends. They are emblematic 
of the faith and hopes of a primitive, God-fearing people. Rude, 
'tis true, but withal sublime in the lessons which they teach the 
passer-by. Death is always sad, but if we may judge of the feel- 
ings of Labradorians by the uncouth inscriptions upon their tombs, 
the loss of friends in those wave-washed wilds is most keenly felt. 


There is something very pathetic in the stern necessity which com- 
pels the people on some parts of the desolate coasts to bury their 
dead in clefts and holes of rocks. They dare not lay them on the 
bare gneiss, and cover them with stones; they hide them in caves 
and holes of the earth and sometimes inscribe their grief on the 
hard rock, or on pieces of wood beyond the reach of beasts of prey. 
The Roman Catholic priests, on their annual visits (to the western 
sections of the Straits of Belle Isle), often visit these primitive rest- 
ing places of the dead, and sanctify the spot, reciting a Libera over 
the natural tombs of those who have died during the year. Some 
of the epitaphs are very sad. The following touching lines, rudely 
carved on a block of wood over the grave of a young girl, reveal a 
blessed hope in a future meeting, and a love not often excelled on 
earth, if these words of the epitaph express the true feelings of the 
heart : — 

"We loved her! 

Yes ! no language can tell how we loved her. 

God in His love 

Called her to the home of His peace and repose." 

And this on the rocky and desert coast of the most sterile part of 
Labrador. The grave, a cleft in the rock, the rude tablet which 
recorded the love and faith of those she had left behind inscribed 
with words beautifully expressed and as full of hope, as if they had 
been written on the tomb of a fair English girl who had drooped 
beneath the shade of "the tall ancestral trees of an English home." 
(Hind.) The following epitaph is found in the little graveyard at 
Battle Harbor: — 

Memory of John 

Hill who Died 

December 30 1889 

Weep not dear Parents 

For your loss tis 

My Etarnal gain May 

Christ you all take up 

The Cross that we 

Should meat again." 
The diction is certainly not elegant ; but the motive is thoroughly 
Christian. A writer of "Labrador tales" speaks of these rude in- 


scriptions as "beiiijjj evidence of the ignorance and rudeness of the 

natives ;" but. in this connection, "where ignorance is bHss 'tis folly 

to be wise." 

The following is said to have been found at Indian Tickle some 

years ago : — 

"Yere lies the body of Maryann 

Who wus killd by a fall from a catamaran." 

A "catamaran" is a sled used in Newfoundland and Labrador. 
In a French settlement, the following was seen not many years 

"Ci git Jeanne Lavalle, mere de toutes les vertus. R. I. P." 
This recalls a supposed classic, written by Voltaire as a fitting 
epitaph for the Mother of a modern Heliogabalus : — 

"Ci git I'oisivetcte-mere de tons les vices." 
Fishermen are not by any means an untutored race, as certain 
scribes would have us believe. On the gravestone of a well-known 
planter-blacksmith, in one of the Northern outports in Newfound- 
land, the following inscription may be seen. It is not original, how- 
ever, as some members of the family of the deceased contend ; the 
original is found in a churchyard at PZardsley.' Herefordshire, Eng- 

"IMy sledge and Hammer lie declin'd. 
My bellows have quite lost their Wind; 
My fire's extinct my Forge decay'd ; 
My vice's in the dust all lay'd ; 
My coal is spent, my Iron gone; 
My nails are drove, my Work is done ; 
My fire-dry'd corpse lies here at Rest, 
My soul, smoak like, is soaring to be blest." 
The most elaborate inscription found on the coast of Labrador is 
that on the Cartwright memorial at Cartwright, in Sandwich Bay : — 

In memory of 

George Cartwright 

Captain in His Majesty's 37th Regiment of Foot 

Second son of William Cartwright, Esq., of 

Marnham Hall in Nottinghamshire, 

Who in March, 1770 made a settlement on the 



Coast of Labrador, 

Where he remained for sixteen years. 

He died at Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire 

19th February, 1819, 

also of 

John Cartwright 

Lieutenant of the "Guernsey," five years Surrogate 

of Newfoundland, 

And afterwards Major of the Nottingham militia 

He died on the 23rd of September, 1824. 

To these distinguished brothers, who in zealously protecting and 

befriending, paved the way for the introduction of Christianity to 

the natives of these benighted regions, this monument is afifection- 

ately inscribed by their niece, 

Frances Dorothy Cartwright." 
Finally the rudest inscription I have seen is the following found 
at Battle Harbor : — 

188 1 
Translated into modern English this means: — "Sarah Combes, died 4th of 
Angu-^t, i88t, aoed 31 years." 





"You behold in me a travelling physician ; 
One of the few who have a mission 
To cure uncurable diseases, 
Or those that are called so." 

— "The Golden Legend," Longfellow. 

The coast of Labrador 

THE GOVERNMENT MEDICAL offers a large clientele to 

OFFICER. the disciple of Esculapius ; 

and there is perhaps no 
other field on earth which demands such skill and patience. The 
Doctor who journeys along the coast on the mail steamer, is an offi- 
cial of the Newfoundland Government. He holds clinics in his 
caBih and visits those who are too ill to come on board the steamer. 
The Doctor is usually a very busy man, and his is a decidedly trying 
work. It is not unusual for the doctor to attend one hundred 
patients between dawn and midnight. At every harbor boats flock 
to the steamer with patients for treatment. Many of these are 
hardy and rugged, but have some fancied ailment. Others, with 
bandaged hands or arms "in a sling'' are suffering from sores, deep 
ugly ulcers ("water-pups") that need skilled attention. After treat- 
ment they go back radiantly happy. . . . Others are hardly able 
to clamber up the ship's steps and their faces betray suffering and 
wretchedness. Some of these the doctor sends back relieved, others 
cannot be left behind, and are taken care of by the doctor and his 
nurse, until they reach one of the hospitals of the M, D. S. F. 
(Mission for Deep Sea Fishermen) or are sent home to their friends 
or the hospital at St. John's. . . . The doctor gives the best 
services he can under the circumstances, but he is handicapped for 
want of proper accommodation. 

There is another portrait of the Labrador Doctor, written by a 
gentleman who writes "wondrous tales." He says : — "The Doctor 


on the mail-boat is a rude, heartless man, who will not inconvenience 
himself by getting out of his berth at night to attend to the sick and 
suffering; and when he fell over the stairs one evening and broke his 
neck, no one felt sorry." 

There are other very strong expressions ; but let this suffice. To 
the writer of such as this I would recommend these lines from 
Gray's "Elegy" : — 

"No longer seek his merits to disclose. 
Or draw his frailties from their dread repose, 
There they alike in trembling hopes repose — 
The bosom of his Father and his God." 
These verses would be a fitting epitaph for the old physician, 
whom wiseacres have traduced. I knew him perhaps as few men 
did ; he was neither rude nor unlettered ; and many a time and oft, 
I was witness of such charities exercised by him as have not yet been 
recorded of any literary "bird of passage" to the coast of Labrador. 

There is another Doctor on the Labrador 

DR. GRENFELL. coast — "Grenfell of Labrador," a graduate 
of Oxford, and of the London Hospital, and 
a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, who, after working in 
the London slums, joined the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea 
Fishermen, and established the Medical Mission to the fishermen 
of the North Sea fleet. Largely through his work, the moral and 
physical condition of these fishermen was greatly changed for the 

Another portrait of the enthusiastic Doctor : "A robust, hearty 
Saxon, strong, indefatigable, devoted, jolly ; a doctor, a parson by 
times, something of a sportsman when occasion permitted ; a master 
mariner, a magistrate, the director of certain commercial enter- 
prises designed to "help people to help themselves" — the prophet 
and champion indeed, of a people ; and a man very much in love 
with life." 

Still another portrait: 

"The writer has known Wilfrid Thomason Grenfell ever since he 
began his work on the Labrador waters, in 1892, and honestly be- 
lieves that no man, single-handed, has achieved in any part of the 
world such a variety of philanthropic successes as stand to the credit 

120 WllKRl:: TilK 1-LSlliiK.S GO. 

of "Grenfell of Labrador." Preacher, teacher, physician, surgeon, 
magistrate, policeman, navigator, pilot, charity commissioner, or- 
phans' guardian, grand almoner for the whole seaboard, wreck in- 
vestigator, cartographer, rescuer of imperilled fishermen, and 
salvager of stranded crafts, — he is a perambulating providence to 
every man whose livelihood is secured on the lonely desolate sea- 

Dr. Grenfell is widely known; and, as in all cases in which an 
individual sets himself against "the observances of ages," and under- 
takes to break down the barriers of conservatism, he has been un- 
duly criticised. 

His occasional references in the foreign press to the bibulous 
habits of the city of St. John's have angered some of the citizens 
in these parts, and brought forth very acrid denunciations from 
certain sections of the Newfoundland newspaperdom ; but there is 
seemingly no abatement in the Doctor's ardor for an improved St. 
John's. He is a strenuous advocate of the cause of Temperance. 

Doctor Grenfell has been sixteen years on the coast of Labrador; 
and an idea of the work in which he is engaged may be gleaned 
from the fact that the actual cost of the work is now^ $40,000 a year. 
Evidently there are many who are not in .'sympathy with the business 
propaganda of Dr. Grenfell's mission, but. viewed from an economic 
standpoint, this feature of Dr. Grenfell's work is an approved system 
of business. Co-operative stores are now recognized as being one 
of the greatest factors in the improvement of the condition of the 
toiler. The idea of "co-operation" is not new, as "its principles had 
been expounded to the masses (in England) by Robert Owen as 
long ago as the beginning of the eighteenth century, but it was not 
till 1844 that the real foundation of the movement was laid in Eng- 
land, when owing to the operation of the corn laws and dearth of 
employment, the price of bread was exceptionally high. During "the 
bad times" it occurred to some weavers at Rochdale that now was 
the time to put into practice Owen's plan of abolishing "profit upon 
cost." Then was laid the foundation of that imposing structure 
which Lord Roseberry has so aptly named "a state within a state." 
The history of the co-operative store is the story of the emancipa- 
tion of the worker from the thraldom of business greed. Those who 
wish to learn ^onKthing of the success which has attended co- 



operative establishments in England, will find a very interesting- 
article on this snbject in System for October of the current year. 
The business end of Dr. Grenfell's work is not a mission enterprise ; 
it is a purely personal undertaking, as \ve learn tliat "everv enter- 
prise with which his name is identified, apart from the actual hos- 
pital work, has been started with his private funds. The losses, 
where such have been met. as in the case of one co-operative store 
which failed, and in which he sank $1,200, the Doctor has made 
good out of his own pocket ; but the profits, where such occur, he 
turns over to the M. D. S. P.. without the slightest deduction for 

ri:ixdi-:er herd. 

himself. He receives a salary of only $1,500 a year. . . . All 
of his salary, apart from his actual living expenses, he puts into 
these ventures, also receipts from his books and writings, and the 
proceeds of his lecturing tours. 

All the enterprises, co-operative stores, saw-mills, fox-farms, 
reindeer, etc., are deeded over to the mission, and become its prop- 
erty as they prove profitable." (P. T. McGrath, in Reznezv of Re- 
v-iews.) The "Royal Mission to Deep Sea Pishermen," of which 
Dr. Grenfell is Superintendent, was established many years ago with 
a view^ to protect North Sea fishermen from the evil influences of 
contraband traders. These fishermen are practically always "afloat ;" 
and are (or were) being demoralized by "Coppers'" or smugglers 



who ply a lucrative trade with the Trawlers of Grimsby and Yar- 
mouth. To offset this demoralizing influence of "the Continental 
highwaymen of the Sea," the M. D. S. F. began its mission amongst 
the North Sea fleet in the 8o's; and Dr. Grenfell inaugurated the 
medical-missionary feature of the crusade against the demoralizing 
influences of the "coppers." 

In 1891 Mr. F. S. Hopwood, a member of the English Board of 
Trade and a Director of the M. D. S. F., whilst visiting Newfound- 
land, en route to Canada, "became convinced that the exigencies and 
privations of the Labrador fisher-folk constituted a clear call on the 


society lo extend their medical and mission work to the poor toilers 
of the sea on dreary Labrador." ( Prowse : "History of New- 

Accordingly, the Mission ship Albert was 
THE ALBERT, despatched to the coast of Labrador in the fol- 
lowing Spring, having on board Dr. Grenfell, 
the Superintendent. In the autumn of that year, on the return of 
the Superintendent to St. John's "a careful report was drawn up 
and read to a meeting of merchants and planters called by His Ex- 
cellency Sir Terence O'Brien, at Government House ; it was ex- 
plained that the Mission was neither sectarian nor political, but sim- 
ply a philanthropic work, aiming at relieving the condition of the 
poor fishermen and their families, and preaching the gospel." As 



an outcome of that meeting it was decided to establish two hospitals 
on the coast. W. Baine Grieve, Esq., representative of the firm of 
Baine, Johnston & Co., presented a house already built at Battle 


Harbor, to serve as a first hospital ; and in the following year a 
second was built at Indian Harbor, near Hamilton Inlet. A third 
hospital was erected, on Canadian Labrador, at Harrington, in 1905. 



The Mission has received generous aid 

BENEFACTIONS, from such i)hilanthropists as Lord Strath- 

cona, Carnegie and other friends in 

England, America and Canada, whose benefactions amount to $37,- 

000 annually. In addition, it receives $3,000 a year from New- 
foundland, one-half of which comes from the Colonial Government 
as a subsidy towards the hospitals. These hospitals are admirable 
institutions, each having a comi^etent medical and nursing staff, and 
a splendid equipment of surgical appliances. 

hVom personal relations with these establishments in past years. 

1 have no hesitancy in saying they are a boon and a blessing to 
Labrador fishermen. 


In addition to Dr. Grenfell's multitudinous 
EXPLORATION, missionary labors on the coast of Labrador. 

he has explored and charted a great part 
of the peninsula; and fishermen should feel grateful to him for his 
h^-drographic services. He has likewise interested himself in pro- 



moting a "tourist-traffic" to the far north ; and it is hoped his efforts 
in this direction will prove successful. 

From his "Log" we glean the following items relative to last 
season's operations: — "We have this year fitted out a 50-ton 
Gloucester Ranker as a Yacht, with motor boats, etc., and a party of 
tourists are cruising directly from Boston to Cape Chidley in her. 
We heard of them last from Saeglik Bay, north of Hebron." 

Some very valuable exploration work was done in conjunction 
with His Excellency, the Governor of Newfoundland. "His Ex- 
cellency joined us at Nain ; he has been helping to survey the 
Northern coast, as far as a hurried and rapid cruise would allow. 
. . . We started work at Port Manvers. . . . Excellent 
observations were possilile at Inner-Cut-Throat ; and we managed to 


catch his Solar Majesty on tlie meridian. ... At Cape Mug- 
ford we lay for Sunday, the Es(iuimaux as well as the fishermen 
joining us at prayers. . . . We have now chartered the won- 
derful "Ikkerask" leading into Ungava Bay, and sounded it from 
end to end. There is reason to hope that a very useful chart may 
be in use for the fishermen next season. . . . We had to hold 
court two or three times to settle small matters. 

Besides his Labrador Mission the Doctor has a "settlement" on 



the North-east coast of Newfoundland, where he conducts a Hos- 
pital, an Orphanage, saw-mills, fox-farms and other enterprises. 

In 1907 Dr. Grenfell raised $15,000 — $5,000 from 

REINDEER, the Canadian Government and $10,000 from sup- 
porters in America, Canada, and England, chiefly 
the first, and imported a herd of 300 Lapland Reindeer. 

These are intended to supplant the dog, which hitherto has been 
the only "beast of burden" in these parts. 

This is an admirable undertaking; and will no doubt be as suc- 
cessful in Newfoundland as it has been in Alaska. 

Reindeer were introduced into Alaska through the enterprise of 
Dr. Sheldon Jackson in 1891, Congress having refused Dr. Jack- 
son's undertaking, he raised $2,146 by private subscription, and pur- 
chased 187 reindeer in Siberia, and secured regular herdsmen, to 

R E I, X D E E R 

whom was entrusted the transportation and sul>sequcnt manage- 
ment of the herd. Later several Lapp families were imported to 
take charge of the enterprise ; and Alaskan Esquimaux were secured 
as apprentices. "There is strarcely another incident in international 
economics that has w^rought such a change for the better in the 
lives of the people as the introduction of reindeer into the frozen 
northern section of America." 

The modes of life, as affected by climatic, geographic and eco- 
nomic limitations, in Labrador and Alaska, agree in nearly every 
detail. The rigorous climate ; the precariousness of the food supply, 
the total absence of agricultural land and of horses, cattle, sheep and 
poultry ; the want and sickness and misery that are the concomi- 



tants of such harsh factors, exist in all their hideousness on barren 

In Alaska similar conditions existed, but they have been wonder- 
fully modified and changed for the better, by the wisdom and fore- 
sight of Dr. Jackson, to whom must be ascribed all the credit for 
working such a miracle. Let us hope that in the very near future, 
the miracle will be repeated in Labrador. 



DK. grenfell's herd. PJwto, Dr. Crejifcll. 

Dr. Jackson has proved that the reindeer is to the far North, 
what the camel is to the burning desert regions — "the animal which 
God has provided and adapted for the peculiar, special conditions 
which exist." 

128 \\iii:ri-: tiiic fishers go. 

As (Iraug^ht animals they arc far superior to dojii^s. On a long 
journey throuij;h barren, snow-covered country, a deer can haul 200 
pounds, while a do<j^ team can scarcly carry sufficient food to feed 
themselves. In summer a reindeer can pack 150 pounds, and give 
no trouble whatever for its provender supply. When the earth is 
deep in snow-drifts, it digs for its food, and in summer it feeds on 
the mosses, lichens and short rich grasses which abound in sub- 
Arctic regions. 

By actual test it has been proved, that a journey over a well known 
Northern mail route, with heavy loads of passengers and freight, 
could be accomplished by reindeer in eight days, where it took dog 
teams from fifteen to twenty days to cover the same distance. In 
deep trackless snow they are infinitely superior to dogs ; a team 
hitched double can draw over 700 pounds weight and travel at a 
good gait, both day and night, with ease. 

They increase and multiply with amazing rapidity; a herd doubles 
itself in about three years. 

Mr. Grosvenor cites the case of the United States Government 
granting a loan to some missioners of 100 deer, who after a few 
years returned the borrowed animals and now possess in their own 
right, the offspring of those same deer, a herd numbering over one 
thousand head. They can be purchased cheaply in Lapland, — full 
grown deer costing from $4.00 to $7.00 each. A fawn costs its 
owner less than $1.00 per year, and after that is worth in Alaska 
from $60.00 to $100.00 per year, and sometimes fetches as high as 
$150.00. They supply meat, — their hams and tongues are considered 
a rare delicacy, — milk, cheese, butter, clothing and shelter to their 

It is estimated that within twenty-five years, there will be at least 
one million domesticated reindeer in Alaska, and that within thirty- 
five the number may reach the enormous total of ten millions. Long 
before that period elapses, economists figure that Alaska will be 
supplying annually to the United States markets from five hundred 
thousand to one million carcasses of venison, besides thousands of 
tons of delicious hams and tongues. 

If these figures were dreams of theorists, the reader would be 
pardoned, if he had his doubts ; but the project has long gone out of 


the experimental stage and has arrived to where the results may be 
surely computed, by simple arithmetical calculation. 

The people of the United States have proved that they can do 
large things well. The gigantic scale on which they are preserving 
their large forest areas ; securing immense tracts in all parts of the 
Union for National Parks ; their complete system of game preserva- 
tion ; their vast meteorological and geographical systems, and the 
success attending all these huge undertakings are sufficient guaran- 
tees that the Alaska reindeer project will be one of the best invest- 
ments of the century. 

What applies to the successful experiment in Alaska, applies 
equally to Labrador. 

In Alaska there are about 40,000 square miles of country which 
appear to have been laid out expressly for the sustenance of deer. 

In Newfoundland and Labrador we have a greater area supplied 
with waterways, and millions of tons of lichens, mosses and sweet 
juicy grasses, suited to the requirements of a vast herd of deer, and 
further we have the deer right at hand. 

Our own caribou and the Lapland reindeer, if they are not identi- 
cal, are very nearly so. They are superior to the Lapland variety 
inasmuch as they are on their native heath, and consequently are bet- 
ter adapted to the clime and food supply available; they are some- 
what larger and heavier than the others ; ought to be very much 
cheaper and easier to secure,' and when in captivity are as kind and 
docile and as capable of being trained, as their congeners. 

They roam the waste places in the interior in vast herds, and after 
three centuries of settlement we have made no more progress in 
utilizing this untold wealth than did our predecessors, the aboriginal 

Mr. Moulton, M. H. A., from his own experience and from infor- 
mation gleaned from Micmac and other hunters and trappers, esti- 
mates the number of caribou in the Island at two hundred and fifty 
thousand. Mr. Jas. P. Howley, F. R. G. S., is more conservative 
and is quoted by Mr. Millais, F. Z. S., as placing them at about one 
hundred thousand ; while Mr. Millais, who spent several seasons in 
the interior and who claims to have penetrated where no white man 
ever before trod, thinks that two hundred thousand is a very fair 


Millais in his book on Newfoundland quotes the game warden at 
Long Harbour who in 1906 saw a grand trek, caused by a fall of 
glitter in that country : — "As far as the eye could reach there were 
millions and millions of caribou, and he stood in astonishment the 
whole day as the pageant rolled by," and further: — "Several Indians 
saw the trails made by the mass of deer and described them to me 
as at least ten miles wide, with few intervals between." 

Surely here is a problem worthy the serious attention of our local 
political economists. 

If from the small beginning of the reindeer in Alaska, it will be 
possible in a few years, to supply millions of carcasses of meat an- 
nually to the markets of America, — Icavdng out of the question the 
benefits derivable by the Alaskans in the meanwhile, — what are the 
value and possibilities of the hundreds of thousands of caribou, 
roaming to-day unused, unthought of, and neglected, at our very 
doors. Put them to their lowest use, as an inducement for sports- 
men to visit us, and at the present time they are worth millions of 
dollars. Utilize them intelligently as a substitute for horses, cattle 
and sheep, and in years to come as a toothsome delicious fresh meat, 
for the clamouring multitudes who are willing to pay high for it as 
a commercial commodity, — and say what is their approximate value ? 

The man who solves this problem will demonstrate how our 
40,000 square miles of marsh and barren land can be changed into 
smiling homesteads for a large and prosperous population. If we 
ever hope to get people to settle in the interior of the Island, it is 
not upon our timber, mineral or agricultural resources we must de- 
pend, but upon our caribou ranches, which are capable of being 
developed as fully as the cattle ranches of United States and Canada, 
or as the reindeer ranches in Lapland, Siberia and Alaska. 

With the five or six months of inclement weather preventing cattle 
from grazing in the open, and with hay ranging from $20 to $30 
per ton ; and further the enormous expense of housing and hand- 
feeding a large stock in this country during the winter months, 
cattle and sheep raising to any considerable extent, will prove to be 
a proposition neither attractive nor profitable enough now, or in the 
near future, to compel the serious attention of either capital or labor. 

That the caribou can raise and support themselves without the aid 
of human agency, is proved by the fact, that they are increasing in 


numbers (allowing^ for deaths caused by hunters, trappers, wolves 
and accidents), by, at the very lowest figure, ten thousand each year. 
Snow, sleet and glitter, and the hardships resulting from exposure 
in the woods or on the barrens, through the long, dark, stormy 
nights of Newfoundland winter, do not appear to decrease their 
numbers to any appreciable extent. They live and thrive, despite 
hardships that would kill the hardiest cattle and ruin the wealthiest 
stock raiser. They have been caught and tamed in isolated cases, 
and have proved to be easily handled and cared for. Ten thousand 
fawns are born every spring. If systematic efforts were made a verv 
large percentage of these could be easily captured and domesticated. 

Mr. R. B. Stroud, one of our oldest, most experienced and most 
reliable guides, stated lately in a letter to a local paper, that he has 
successfully caught and domesticated caribou. He believes that it 
is easy of accomplishment, and offers, with the aid of another man, 
to round up the whole herd now roaming the interior of the Island. 

Centuries ago the Boethics proved this to be practicable. Their 
fences by which they controlled large deer drives are still visible in 
some parts. 

The wild zebra of Central Africa which for centuries defied 
isolated attempts to domesticate them, have within the last few years 
been trained to rival the best horses in usefulness and docility. 

Captain Nys, of the Belgian Grenadiers, who was commissioned to 
secure some for draught purposes for the Congo, to replace the 
numbers of horses and mules killed by the deadly tzeste fly. built 
a large stockade, and drove thousands of zebras into it. After a 
fortnight they were so tame, that they allowed themselves to be har- 
nessed. They are now doing duty as beasts of burden throughout 
the vast territory of the Congo. 

If a similar effort were made to capture a large number of caribou 
and domesticate them, in one year it would repay thousand-fold the 
money and labor involved in the scheme. 

The United States Government for some years past have devoted 
$25,000 annually for the preservation and increase of the deer herds 
in their northern territory. They have proved the investment a good 

It is a proposition worth considering whether it would not pay 
us to import a few Lapp families to settle in the interior and cap- 


ture and train some of our native caribou. Our guides, hunters and 
trappers would take very little time to learn the secret, once their 
attention was turned thereto, and then the fisherman and farmer 
could easily and cheaply acquire his own herd that would mean meat 
and money for him even if his crops and the season's fishery proved 
a blank failure. 

The rate of living is so high in this country at present, and the 
ta.xes and cost of administering the Government have so increased, 
that we will need in the near future to quadruple our present popu- 
lation, and augment our earning power at the same time, in order 
tliat the ordinary workman will be able to exist on his average earn- 
ings. The time has arrived when the economic utilization of these 
great natural riches must be considered seriously. Their conversion 
into a prolific and never-failing source of wealth and revenue seems 
insistent and imperative. 

If we lack initiative, it is to be hoped that we have the imitative 
faculty sufficiently developed to emulate the Lapps and Alaskans 
when Dr. Grenfell points the way. (W. J. Carroll: Nczvfoundland 

Dr. Grenfell's venture in reindeer in Northern Newfoundland has 
been eminently successful. He says : — The reindeer have done mag- 
nificently. Of the original herd introduced, fifty were sold to the 
Newfoundland Development Company to defray the expense of 
bringing them over, leaving two hundred and fifty. These, after 
only nine months, have become 403. splendid animals, deducting all 
losses. The fawns are already as large as their mothers, and the 
condition of the animals is simply not to be compared with the mis- 
erable state of the herd when they landed. The Lapps, who brought 
them over, are still in charge ; and recently other Lapp families have 
been introduced. There is now a movement on foot to bring over 
a number of Lapps and settle them on the coast of Labrador. 

"The milk these animals give has proved to be very rich, and the 
cheese will be very useful for winter. The problem as to their 
future is practically solved. . . . Next year the experiment will 
be made of trapping the wild caribou and uniting them with the 
imported herd." 

The question of introducing reindeer into Newfoundland was 
mooted many years ago in the House of Assembly by the late John 


Boone ; but local parliamentarians did not seriously entertain the 
question. Mr. Boone debated the question very ardently; but, pre- 
sumably, the members of the Assembly regarded the measure as one 
of this gentleman's "Utopian schemes." This was the expression 
used at the time by one of the venerable representatives of a certain 
constituency. Had the measure been then adopted, northern New- 
foundland would have long since become a sheep-raising country 
(the canine tribe has rendered the keeping of sheep an impossi- 





"'J"1k' l)rc'aker> were ri_nht beneath her bows, 

She drifted a dreary wreck 
And a whooping^ billow swept the crew, 

Like icicles from her deck ; 
She struck where the white and tleecy waves 

Looked soft as carded wool ; 
Hut the cruel rocks they gored her side, 

Like the horns of an angry bull." 

— "The JJ'rcck of the Hesperus," Li'N(;fi:i.[.(>w, 

r. I'AUL 


Aeolus slumbers nigh to the rock fastnesses of the fishers' land; 
and when awakened, proclaims his awful majesty by wreaking de- 
struction within his realms ; and Boreas ofttimes deals mercilessly 
with the fishers. The death-roll of the Labrador fishers is a lengthy 
one ; and it has no parallel, excepting perhaps the "casualty list" of 
the North Sea. From earliest days, when Basques and Breton 


sailors visited the coast, Labrador has had an unsavory reputation : 
the nomenclature of the capes and harbors is unmistakable evidence 
that the old mariners dreaded its rugged shores. Belle Isle was 
known as "I sola di PeDioiii" (the "Isle of Demons"). In the near 
vicinity we iind Caf M audit and Isle Sacree — suggestive of danger- 
ous reefs and a "cussing crowd." Some miles to the west we have 
Point aiix Morts (now Armour Point), L'Ansc aic Diable (vulgo, 
"Nansey Jawble"). It is a pretty rough place; but why it should be 
dedicated to his Satanic Majesty, "is another question." 

Labrador is visited periodically by terrific gales ; and almost every 
fishing hamlet along its lengthy coast-line has paid its toll to the 
death-dealing fury of the storm. The coast, in the southern sec- 
tion, is honey-combed with reefs and shoals, many of which are 
uncharted, and their presence is never suspected until the storm 


lashes them into fury. Storms are the fishermen's terror; and the 
oncoming of a North-easter is ever a source of uneasiness, as it 
spells wreckage and disaster. The "ground-swell" of the coast is a 
phenomenon rarely witnessed elsewhere ; and Admiral Bayfield, who 
surveyed a great part of the coast says : — "I have never seen heavier 
sea than that which rolls in from the eastward, in Lewis Sound, near 
the entrance to the Straits of Belle Isle ; I never saw anything more 
grand and wildly beautiful than the tremendous swell which rolls in 
from the sea, often without wind, rolling slowly, but irresistibly, as 
if moved by some unseen power, rearing itself up like a wall of 
water, as it approaches the craggy sides of the islands, moving 
faster and faster as it nears the shore, until at last it bursts with 
fury over the islets thirty feet high, or sends up sheets of foam and 
spray, sparkling in the sunbeams, fifty feet up the sides of the preci- 


pices. I can compare the roar of the surf in a cahn night to nothing 
less than the Falls of Niagara." 

Many dreadful, doleful tragedies are recorded in fishing annals, 
even in recent times. The storms of later years, however, do not 
seem to have wrought such havoc as those of former years, but the 
list of casualties is still a lengthy one. In the "gale" of '67 one 
hundred lives were lost between Cape Harrison and Domino ; and 
some years ago the remains of a schooner might be seen far "up in 
the woods," at Curlew Harbor, near Cape North. The schooner 
was driven from her moorings by the North-east gale, and twenty- 
nine lives were lost. At Grady, which lies at some distance from 
the Cape, fearful havoc was wrought by this same storm ; and thirty 
persons found a watery grave, at Black Island, in the vicinity. 
From an eye-witness of this awful visitation, I have learned these 
harrowing details. 

"The storm came up suddenly from the North-east during the 
early hours of the morning; and by daylight it had reached its 
height. A terrific tidal- wave came in just at sunrise and swept away 
stores, wharves, and stages ; the sea broke right across the island to 
Blubber Cove. Twine, lumber, provisions, faggots of fish, and her- 
ring barrels were strewn in all directions ; some empty herring-bar- 
rels were blown clean across the island, and pieces of staves were 
driven into the clefts of the rocks, as if forced in by a sledge-ham- 
mer. Several houses were washed away ; and those that withstood 
the gale became death-traps to the domestic animals which were 
unable to escape. Several children barely escaped drowning; they 
had to be fished out of the "smoke-holes" (wooden chimneys). The 
scene which followed the passing of the gale is almost indescribable. 
Men were bemoaning the loss of everything they possessed ; and 
frenzied women, scantily clad, were huddled in groups in the only 
remaining shelters on the island. 

Half-naked children were clinging pitcously to their mothers ; and 
it required almost superhuman eiiforts to pacify them. But, after 
the sea had gone down, the saddest story was told : at Black Island, 
across the "reach," seven vessels had been driven ashore, and the 
crews drowned in the attempt to land. A wail went up from a 
dozen women whose friends were amongst the lost : its echoes are 
still ringing in my ears. I shall never forget the sad scenes of these 



few eventful hours. Next clay, and the day following, numbers 
flocked to Grady from the outlying sections, seeking food and shel- 
ter ; and here they remained for days awaiting an opportunity to get 
home. We had no Marconi conveniences in these days; and we 
depended on passing schooners for means of transportation. These 
were awful days; and, as we saw several schooners go by without 
seeing our signals, we were alarmed, as our stock of provisions was 
small. Fortunately, we managed to "keep going" till relief came. I 
hope I shall never have another such experience." 

WRECKS. (Photo, Dr. G re n fell.) 

At White Bear Islands, during this gale, scenes similar to those 
witnessed at Grady occurred ; and thirty-nine fishermen were 
drowned, one entire family being wiped out of existence. Several 
happenings are recorded of other sections ; and there is scarcely a 
hamlet on Labrador which has not had its day of visitation. 

The year 1885 was a disastrous one along the coast; the financial 
loss was enormous; and the year now ending (1908) will also be 
remembered as a season of destruction : forty schooners were 


wrecked at Kiug's Bay during a gale in August ; but fortunately 
no losses of life occurred. 

The avocation of the Labrador fisherman is truly a dangerous 
one; in springtime there are dangers from the great "White Peril" 
— ice and icebergs; in the fall, there is danger from the storm. As I 
write these lines I see a leaded headline in a daily paper: — "Great 
loss of life; fifteen fishermen lost in last night's storm, on the New- 
foundland coast." 

The story of marine tragedies on the Newfoundland and Labra- 
dor coasts would fill a volume. The story of the '"Trinity Bay Dis- 
aster ;" the "Greenland" tragedy; the loss of the "Wolf;" "The 
Passing of the Lion" — these will one day be discovered by some 
literary artist (?) of the great Republic, and be woven into a 
■■yarn" for the delectation of readers of the gruesome. In 1847 
the little town of Carbonear suffered a dreadful loss in the disappear- 
ance of a fishing schooner, and the drowning of 50 persons. The 
event is still remembered as "The John Penny Disaster." 

A marine tragedy of Labrador is recorded of 1871. which is per- 
haps one of the saddest in the long list of fishing disasters. It 
occurred near Cape Charles ; and the only survivor, Solomon French, 
is still living at Bay Roberts, Conception Bay. The "Huntsman" — 
a sealing vessel, owned by Captain Dawe of Porte de Grave — left 
the home port with the rest of the fleet, in March ; and soon after 
was "jammed" in the ice somewhere near the "Funk Islands." Fast 
in the floe, she was driven north towards the end of April ; and 
during a terrific south-east gale she drifted over the shoals off Cape 
Charles, and was wrecked on "The Fish Rock," a barren islet half 
a mile from the cape. 

The crew held to the wreck for several hours, until a huge comber 
washed them into the boiling surf. Some of them clambered upon 
the rock ; but, one by one, they succumbed to the constant buffetting 
of the angry sea. At the end of the third day only one man sur- 
vived ; he was seen from the shore by some fishermen, who gal- 
lantly went to his rescue. He was at the last extremity; but the 
careful nursing of the kindly rescuers revived him. He has often 
recounted the agonies of these dreadful hours upon the rock ; and it 
is said that when he now hears the moaning of the sea. it reawakens 


the awful sensations of these hours of a Hving death, which he spent 
on the rock off Cape Charles, nearly fort) years ago. 

Another marine tragedy occurred in the year 1877; and I shall 
ever renieniher an incident in connection with it. In my hoyhood 
davs it was an act of consummate braver)- in the eyes of the juvenile 
community of my native town to "board" the fishing schooners as 


they returned from the coast. I happened to be the proud owner 

of a yacht at the time, and with my old school chum, D. W. , 

boarded the schooner "Vulcan," which was commanded by Capt. 

F. , w'hose wife accompanied him that year on his fishing trip. 

After we had been welcomed by the C^aptain, Mrs. asked 

us: — "How long has the 'Rose" been in?" We said, "The 'Rose' 


hadn't arrived yet." There was no comment, but a scream, such as 
I have never since heard, followed by an exclamation — "My God, 
the 'Rose' is lost !" The "Rose" had left the coast several days be- 
fore the "\'ulcan," with seventy souls on board; and must have 
capsized in a storm the second day after leaving Cape Charles. Her 
disappearance is another mystery of the sea. 

A singular occurrence was the loss of the crew and passengers 
of the English schooner "Rosevear," which left Harbor Grace, salt- 
laden, for Labrador in the summer of, I think, 1880. About ten 
days after sailing, the schooner was seen off Twillingate, under 
full sail, apparently unmanageable. She was boarded by some fish- 
ermen, w'ho were dreadfully alarmed, as no sign of life was visible. 
They had read of "phanlom ships ;" but this could not be a phan- 
tom. The remains of the last meal were still lying on the cabin 
table : and everything seemed to indicate that an accident had oc- 
curred whilst the captain and passengers were having a meal. What 
had occurred ? It was another mystery of the sea. It was surmised 
that the ship had come in contact with an iceberg, and fearing that 
she would founder, the captain and crew abandoned her ; the long- 
boat was missing, and, on examination, it was found that the head- 
gear (jib-boom and martingale) had been injured by contact with 
something ; it could not, so fishermen declared, have been a rock, as 
there was nothing in this neighborhood with which the ship could 
have come in contact ; hence the surmise that it w^as an iceberg — 
''The Great White Peril'' — which had caused the accident. The 
boat must have been swamped by the "wash" from the berg, as it 
was never heard of. 

It is not an unusual occurrence for fishing crews to make a "trip 
to Europe," not specified in their itinerary ; and this has happened 
several times within recent years. Ships are frequently "driven to 
sea" in the fall, and a passing steamer sometimes finds the derelict 
in mid-ocean. 

Many deeds of heroism are recorded in connection with the res- 
cuing of derelict crews by ocean steamers. 

Wrecks have sometimes a ludicrous side ; and one such instance 
occurred not many years ago, in the case of the little schooner. 
This craft left St. John's late in the autumn, laden with supplies for 
a northern mercantile establishment. Some hours after leaving, a 


stomi came on, and the schooner was dismasted, presumably off Cape 
Bonavista. When the storm had abated, the crew decided to aban- 
don the craft and "make the land." The captain determined to 
"hang on to the wreck ;" and the crew abandoned him to his fate. 
It is said that the captain had been "sampling the liquids," of which 
there was a plentiful supply in the hold, ^he crew reached the land 
after two days of hard rowing; and it was a foregone conclusion 
that the captain and ship would never again be heard of. Less than 
a week after the landing of the crew, some fishermen at Bird Island 
Cove descried a strange-looking craft in the offing; and they imme- 
dately went to investigate. This was the schooner Pet, making in 
for Catalina under a "jury-mast" outfit (two oars, and some blankets 
which had been discovered amongst the cargo). The captain was 
not alone, however; a faithful Newfoundland dog was steering, 
while the captain looked after the "sheets." W'hether the dog knew 
his compass is not told^ The craft was refitted at Catalina, and has 
since made many successful voyages. This is not fiction. 

Wrecks have sometimes occurred on the coast of Labrador, which 
were not due to "stress of weather;" they were made to order. This 
phase of nautical economics is known in local phraseology as "Bar- 
ratry" ; in the homely dialect of Labrador fishermen, it is known as 
"scuttling," or "selling" a vessel to the Insurance Company ! Bar- 
ratry was a frequent disorder in former times ; but there are no firms 
of "Dombey and Son," and few "Captain Cuttles" amongst the fish- 
ing population of Newfoundland to-day. The opprobrium of this 
iniquitous business termed "scuttling" invariably rested upon the 
unfortunate fishermen, if they happened to be caught in the toils. 
The Dombeys rejoiced that "these rascals were caught at last!" 
But if the little matter eventuated satisfactorily, Dombey felt happy ; 
"that old schooner was no good, anyway, and would be somebody's 
coffin, maybe !" 

The disease was epidemic at times ; but the stringent measures 
of the Judges of the Supreme Court have arrested all future danger 
of contagion. Prison diet, with a strong tincture of penitentiary 
discipline, has been found to be an unfailing specific against this dis- 
order; and the smart Alecs of the Labrador coast are now almost 
as rare as the curlew. The Records of the Newfoundland courts are 
decorated with "Barratry" proceedings. A caiise celehre was un- 


earthed by Dr. Grenfell some years ago ; and it has been immor- 
talized by Xorman Duncan in one of his "Labrador Tales." The 
principals in this case were put behind the bars of the penitentiary ; 
and "sales" to Insurance Companies are now of rare occurrence. 

There is a large fund of interesting stories in connection with 
these "sales" ; but as many of the parties interested are still 
inter z'izvs. it were unwise to give them publicity. There is one, 
however, which is common property ; and it is no breach of privacy 
to relate it. I am indebted to an insurance agent in Newfoundland 
for the incident. 

Some years ago. a planter of the humbler type effected an insur- 
ance of $2,000 on his craft and cargo (declared to be four hundred 

quintals of fish), with the agent of "The Marine Insurance 

Company." The insurance had been secured by letter from a South- 
ern Labrador port. The planter sold his "catch" at ; 

the catch was not four Jiundrcd quintals! He had "arranged" the 
division of the spoils with his crew. The schooner started home- 
wards ; and when comnig through Staf!^ Harbor Run two for- 
midable-looking holes were bored in the bottom of the craft ; but 
the auger, by mischance, was left in one of the holes. The captain 
and crew abandoned the sinking craft; and they put ashore at 

, a rendezvous for vessels returning from the coast. There 

the necessary "protest" was made, with due form and solemnity ; 
and the shipwrecked fishermen received the customary attention 

from the local magistrate, and were sent to their homes in 

Bay. But the vessel did not sink : a strong nor'wester blew her 
ashore; and the implement of supposed destruction (the auger) was 
found, where the captain had left it. This fact, however, was not 
generally known. The captain proceeded to St. John's in due course, 
and went to the office of the underwriter, where he recited his tale of 
woe. After the recital, the underwriter opened a drawer whence 
he produced the auger, and asked his interviewer if he had ever seen 
this particular implement ? There was no answer to the question ; 
the captain left the city in rather indecent haste ; the insurance was 
not paid, of course; and for aught I know to the contrary, that cap- 
tain is still "wanted" by the authorities. 



"Hills peep o'er hills, and steeps on steeps arise !" 

"In its general features the peninsula of Labrador is an oblong 
mass of Laurentian rocks lying between the 50th and 60th parallels 
of latitude." (Packard: "The Labrador Coast.") 

The oldest geological formations are nowhere so exemplified as 
on the coast of Labrador ; and the "Laurentian rocks occupy more 
than nine-tenths of the area of the peninsula, the remainder being 
underlain by scattered areas of Huronian and Cambrian." (Geol. 
Sur. Canada, A. P. Low.) 

Under the term Laurentian, we find granites, gneisses, and syen- 
ites. For the benefit of the unitiated the following notes are given 
on the differentiation of these allied rocks. Granite is metamorphic 
or eruptive, composed of Feldspar, Mica and Quartz, and there is 
no appearance of foliation in the arrangement of the ingredients ; 
the quartz is usually grayish, or smoky, and glassy, without any 
appearance of cleavage ; the feldspar is usually of a whitish or flesh- 
color, and cleavable in two directions ; the mica is found in cleavable 

Gneiss is metamorphic ; it may be also altered eruptive ; it is simi- 
lar to granite in its constituents, but with the mica and other in- 
gredients more or less distinctly in layers. It is sometimes difficult 
for the amateur to differentiate the two. Syenite (so called from 
Sycne, in Egypt, where it occurs in abundance) is metamorphic 
and eruptive,' of gray and reddish color, and has as constituents, 
feldspar (orthoclase), with often microcUne and hornblende, and 
little or no quarts. 

Under the name Huronian are included several widely separated 
areas of clastie and volcanic rocks, together with certain eruptives, 
represented by schists (slate formations), conglomerates and dior- 

Lender Cambrian, we find sandstones, shales, and limestones, 
along with bedded traps and other basic intrusives. 


In the Straits of Belle Isle, there is a great uniformity in the 
rock-formations of the coast, which are either wholly gneiss or 
more commonly a syenitic-gneiss. At Bradore there are two lofty 
hills of gneiss, estimated to be 1,200 feet in height. . . . Be- 
tween Belles Armours and Blanc Sablon we find the Lower Silurian 
or "Taconic Rocks." This latter terminology is derived from an 
American source — the Taconic Hills in the western slope of the 
Green Mountains in the United States, east of the Hudson River. 
Along this section of the shore, somewhat to the eastward, we find 
the "Old Red-Sandstone" resting on precipitous Laurentian rocks ; 
whilst near the mouth of Bradore Bay Paroqueet Island is a mass 
of sandstone whose texture is such that puffins, which are found 
there in myriads, scoop their nests out of the rocky cliffs. The 
sandstone is predominant on the east side of L'anse a Loup ; and 
attains a height of five or six hundred feet in the formation locally 
known as "The Battery." This bears a striking resemblance to the 
"Palisades" on the Hudson. 

As we move further eastwartl there is a marked change in the 
features of the coast-line ; the hills are more regular in outline, and 
slope gradually to the water. The syenite, which is such a pre- 
dominant feature, is composed of a flesh-red orthoclase and a smoky 
quartz, with minute particles of hornblende sparsely disseminated 
through the mass." (Packard: The Labrador Coast.) 

At Henley Harbor there is an extraordinary formation known as 
"The Devil's Dining Table." It is thus described by Lieutenant 
Baddely (Trans. Lit and Llist. Society of Quebec, 1829): — "Upon 
entering the harbor it has something the appearance of a fortifica- 
tion. The upper portion consists of a mass of amorphous basalt, 
fifty feet thick, 990 feet long, and 210 feet wide in its broadest part, 
which is the centre. The mass is supported by an aggregation of 
basaltic columns, the greatest height of which is twenty-five feet. 
The position of the columns is nearly vertical ; and they are jointed 
at every foot, or one foot six inches. They vary in the number of 
sides. The base of these pillars is 180 feet above the water; total 
height to the summit of the amorphous basalt, 225 feet above the 
sea. This formation extends to another island to the westward, 
called Saddle Island, 120 yards from Castle Reef Rock. On Saddle 
Island there are three caves on the side towards the sea ; the deepest 





1 ri 



cavern penetrates sixty feet, and is forty-five feet broad in the mid- 
dle. The floors are strewn with fras^ments of cohimns. and the sides 
ornamented by those wliich their removal exposed to view." 

The ceiling is smooth and black. The strike of this formation is 
from east to west ; it probably extends a very considerable distance 

The formation here is not unlike that found in the Island of 
Staffa. and the Giant's Causeway. Packard ("The Labrador 
Coast") lias the followinc: supplementary notice of this interesting 
formation: — "It is a high ovate mass with vertical sides and a flat 
top, which slightly inclines towards the south, and consists of two 
layers, showing that the rock is the remains of two separate erup- 
tions, the lower consisting of regular prismatic five-sided columns, 
each about two feet in diameter, fluted on the sides and curiously 
worn by transverse impressed lines. The basaltic mass rests upon 
the upturned edges of Laurentian gneiss which have been pene- 
trated by dikes of syenite. North of the basaltic cap. the underlying 
rocks are least disturbed, being reddish gneiss-like or foliated syen- 
ite, crumbling and quite fissile. . . . Upon submitting a speci- 
men of the basalt to Mr. J. S. Diller of the U. S. Geological Survey, 
he tells me that it is doleritic basalt. 

At the south-east end of the island, along the shore looking out 
towards Belle Isle, the flesh-colored syenite rocks present a rough 
and broken front to the ceaseless swell of the Atlantic, rising from 
seventy-five to a hundred feet above the waves, the beetling crags 
broken and pierced by deep ocean caves; with jutting headlands and 
iTttle pebbly beaches nestling between them — all the characteristic 
scenic features of this syenite, whether at Xahant. or Mt. Desert, or 
on the coast of Labrador." 

Ofif Cape Charles the coast again becomes broken and rugged — 
"hummocky," as it is termed by Labradorians. This is due to the 
fact that immense fiords here pierce the coast-line. 

At Battle Harbor there is a pale syenitic formation ; and here and 
there it is streaked with (luartzite bands which give it a very singu- 
lar appearance in the glowing sunlight. 

Cape St. Leans is a syenite headland, fissured and broken, of for- 
bidding appearance ; and these features are characteristic of nearly 
everv headland along the coast as we proceed northwards. 


At Square Island there arc great, conical hills, composed of 
anorthosite. and they contain masses of Labradorite, a beautifully 
lustrous rock, termed by the Indians "The Fire-Rock." But it has 
not in this section the same brilliancy and lustre as the Labradorite 
found at St. Paul's Inlet. 

At Domino, a formation which has received the name of "Domino 
Gneiss." is very striking-. It covers a large area of coast between 
Domino and Indian Harbor: and consists of a light-colored gneiss, 
the base of whicli is a white granular, vitreous quartz, with speckles 
of black hornblende with a few particles of a lilac-colored mica. 
There are also minute rutle crystals of yellow garnet, or cinnamon 
stone, disseminated through the mass." (Packard.) 

At Caf'c U'ebcc (Harrison) there is a lofty hcadlanrl of gneiss 
faced with steep precipices of Syenite. From off this Cape are seen 
the lofty mountains of the interior — the central peak of which is 
called "]\It. ]\Iisery" ; it is said that in the clear climate of this 
region this mountain-range can be seen at a distance of seventy-five 
miles seaward. At Hopcdalc, the rocks are gneissic ; and north of 
this the "Aulezavick" gneiss of Lieber forms the major part of the 
coast-line, excepting in the vicinit\' nf Xaclvrak. where we meet 
"Huronian Schists." 

Granites are not found abundantly, but large deposits are known 
to exist in Hamilton Inlet. 

The general elevation of the Labrador Coast 
MOUNTAINS, in the Straits of Belle Isle is approximately six 
hundred feet, and the highest mountains are 
the three Bradore Hills, which are respectively 1,335. 1.220 and 
1,264 feet in height. From Chateau Bay and Caf^c Charles the coast 
rises in height northwards, until at S(iuare Island the elevations 
form mountains about 1,000 feet high. Further north, between 
Sandwich Bay and Hamilton Inlet (Groswater Bay) the Mealy 
Mountains rise to an elevation of 1,482 feet; and Mt. Allegegai 
(Mt. Misery) which forms the summit of a plateau between Cape 
Webec and Hopedale attains an elevation of 2,170 feet. 

North of Port ]\Ianvers is Kiglapeit, 2,000 feet high ; and west 
of Cape Mugford is the peculiarly shaped range known as Bishop's 
Mitre," which has an elevation of 3,000 feet. "The Domes/' on the 


south, and '' Blotv-mc-down ," on the north of Saeglek Bay are both 
3,000 feet in height ; and the highest mountain-range on the coast — 
"Four Peaks" — south of Chidley, is said to be 6,000 feet high. In 
his report for 1885 Professor Bell observes: — "The mountains in the 
north give evidence of long-continued atmospheric decay. . . . 
Patches of snow remain throughout the summer in shaded parts of 
the slopes." 

"The Labrador plateau has been, at least near 
GLACIATIOX. the Atlantic, moulded by ice to a height at least 
of twenty-five hundred feet above the level of 
the sea. In Southern Labrador Dr. Bell states that the valleys and 
hills, up to the height of si.xtecn hundred feet, at any rate, have 
been planed by glacial action. The gneiss mountains are moulded 
into large flat cones, often with a nipple-shaped summit; the syen- 
ites are cither moulded into domes or into high conical sugar-loaves ; 
the anorthosite syenite at Square Island occurs in huge cones; and 
the trap overflows accompanying the Domino gneiss form rough, 
irregular bosses. Only at one point, near Cape Chidley, have the 
mountains by their altitude escaped the rounding and remodelling 
of glaciers. These scraggy peal<s. covered with loose, square stones 
detached by frosts from their slopes, remind us of Mount Washing- 
ton in New- Hampshire and T^Iount Katahdin in Maine." 

The efifects of frosts are manifested in a singularly forcible man- 
ner. The entire surface, where it is not too steep to enable debris to 
collect, is covered with broken masses of rock, cubes of ten feet and 
less being scattered in wildest profusion. Sometimes a patch of 
moss, the grass and heather of this country, fills up the crevices, but 
generally we may look down into them far and deep without ever 
detecting the base upon which the rocks rest, hurled aloft as they 
appear, by the hands of Titans. 

Glacial striae are found rarely near the sea-level of the coast, 
owing doubtless to the constant erosion of the rocks ; but, at an ele- 
vation of a few hundred feet the rochcs montonccs are seen abun- 
dantly. . . . We have good reason to believe that an enormous 
glacier once filled the great fiord, Hamilton Inlet, which at its mouth 
is forty miles broad. Peculiar lunoid furron's were observed on the 
northern and southern shores about forty miles apart, which would 



seem to justify the conclusion that the glacier was of that breadth 
where it descended into the sea. The best examples of these lunoid 
furrows occurred at Indian Harbor on the north shore of Hamilton 
Inlet, near the site of (the Hospital). . . . The marks occur 
about twenty-five feet above the water's edge, and below the line of 
lichens which are kept at a distance by the sea spray. These cres- 
cent-shaped depressions, which run transversely to the course of the 
Bay, were from five to fourteen inches broad by three to nine inches 
long, and about an inch deep vertically in the rock. . . . Also 
at Tub Harbor, on the southern side of this Bay, similar markings, 
but less distinct, occurred about the same distance above the sea." 
(Packard: "T!h\Labrador Coast.") 




w ■ ■'('•"''•"S^^S 





INDIAN H.-^RBOR. {PllofO. HoUoZVaw) 

The whole surface of the Labrador peninsula is 
BOULDERS, thickly strewn with boulders. They are not often 

visible along the shore; but some immense speci- 
mens are to be seen at Sloop Cove and Ragged Islands, near the 

After ascending to an elevation of five or six hundred feet from 
the sea-level, and penetrating the interior, their presence is espe- 
cially marked. . . . They are found about the edges of ponds 
and along the banks of rivers, and especially in raised beaches. 'T 
am inclined to think," says Packard, '"that their abundance near the 
seashore is greatly lessened by their having been carried off by 


shore-ice into the sea, and there rearranged into moraines." Hind 
says: — "An infinite innnber of colossal erratics lie scattered over the 
valleys, hillsides and nuiuntain-tops. At some points they almost 
seem to make np the very monntain themselves ; there being this 
difference, that whereas the rock itself /;/ situ is granitic, the boul- 
ders in every case are of gneiss. . . . In the interior, the In- 
dians say that there are greater numbers than near the mouth of the 
river (Moisie); and they speak of great (juantities of "fire-rock" 
( Labradorite). . . . Its sheen is visible only when sunlight and 
moonlight play upon it. but it is not seen when the Manitou, who 
dwells in the mountains, is displeased with the "children of the 
forest." ... At one point {Caribou Lake), the long line of 
erratics skirling the river looked like "Druids' monumental stones"; 
for, in many instances, they were disposed in such a manner as 
would lead one to think they were placed there by artificial means. 
. . . At another point, huge blocks of gneiss twenty feet in diam- 
eter lay in the channel or on the rocks which here and there pierced 
the sandy tract through which the river fiowed ; while on the sum- 
mits of the mountains and along the crests of hill-ranges they 
seemed as if they had been dropped by hail. 

It was not difticult to see that many of these rock fragments had 
been carried far. but others were of local origin. I'rom an emi- 
nence I could discover that they were piled to a great height be- 
tween hills three and four hundred feet high, and from the com- 
parativeh sharp edges of many, the i)arent rock could not have been 
far distant. ' 

Owing to the forest growths which cover 
BOULDER-CLAY, a great part of the area of Southern Labra- 
dor it is impossible to study minutely the 
boulder-clay or "till" of the coast; and only general information is 

Unstratified drift is found throughout the whole interior, in vary- 
ing thicknesses. To a great extent it appears to have been formed 
from the disintegration due to atmospheric decay of the upper por- 
tions of the surrounding rock-masses. Everywhere more than sev- 
enty-five per cent of the included boulders are from the immediate 
neighborhood. The amount of erosion and the change wrought 


upon the general surface have not been so great as is often sup- 
posed ; and tlie amount of rotten debris removed from the hills, does 
not represent a great depth of decayed rock. 

The Archean rocks which constitute more than three-fourths of 
the entire peninsula are not easily disintegrated; but in some sections 
an immense quantity of detritus is in evidence. This is particularly 
the case at Ragged Islands (the only place which I have remarked it 
especially), where the "landwash" is gradually rising. 

At places it is now almost impossible to walk through the gritty 
substance which has washed down from the gneissic hills in the 

Moraines are found at various points along the 

MORAINES, coast ; these constitute the shoals and banks which 

lie o^ the mouths of the deep fiords (Hind). In 

their present state they may reasonably be assumed to be formed in 

greater part of remodelled debris brought down by the same glaciers 

which excavated the deep fiords. 

The absence of deposits of sand in the form of modern beaches 
is very marked. Large quantities of sand are found in Bradore Bay, 
and it is rolled into dunes which are remarkable for their shape and 
extent. There are also extensive deposits of sand at Blanc Sablon 
and at Pinware. 

"There is also an exceptionally large sand area between Sandwich 
Bay and Hamilton Inlet, covering many square miles of territory. 
The reason why sandy beaches are not in general found on this 
coast, notwithstanding that enormous quantities of rock are an- 
nually ground up by coast-ice and ice-pans driven on the shore, 
arises from the undertow carrying the sand seawards and depositing 
it on the shoals and banks outside of the islands. 

It is a popular error which assumes that the depth of water in 
which an iceberg grounds is indicated by the height of the berg 
above the level of the sea. It is stated that while there is one-ninth 
above, there will be eight-ninths of the berg below sea-level. This is 
approximately true only with regard to volume or mass of the berg, 
not with regard to height or depth. A berg may show an elevation 
of one hundred feet, and yet its depth may not exceed double that 
amount, but its volume or mass will be about eight times the mass 

152 WliKRli THE FlSliERS GO. 

it shows above the surface. Hence while icebergs ground in thirty 
and forty fathoms of water, they may expose a front of one hundred 
and fifty feci in altitude, the broad, massive base supporting a mass 
about one-ninth of its volume above sea-level. 

There are several ancient "sea-margins" 

RAISED BEACHES, or terraces along the Labrador coast; 

and some of the finest examples are seen, 
about four hundred feet above the present coast-line, in the Straits 
of Belle Isle. 

"Five such margins are seen near Blajic Sahlon, and they are very 
distinctly marked. At L'anse a Loup, on the west side of the Bay, 
there are three very regular terraces, the lower of which is covered 
with debris. On the east side the land is much more irregular, de- 
scending in buttressed steeps like the "Palisades" on the Hudson, 
though far exceeding them in height. On the east point are fivt 
terraces with heavy buttresses on the north-west side, and beyond 
four terraces come in sight. The strata here are nearly horizontal, 
dipping under the Strait at a very slight angle." In Chateau Bay 
and Henley Harbor are some very fine examples of ancient sea- 

They occur in recesses in the shore which have been sheltered 
from the denuding agency of the waves and strong arctic currents. 
The most plainly marked example forms the eastern shore of Henley 
Island. . . . On these terraces can be seen distinctly the wind- 
rows of pebbles and gravel thrown up by the retreating waves. 

In Chateau harbor there is another remarkably steep beach, w^hich 
ascends halfway up the side of the hill, which is about five hundred 
feet high. It is composed of boulders very closely packed in layers, 
without any gravel to fill up the interstices. It consists of two ter- 
races, the lower oeing almost precipitous in its descent. This beach, 
when below the level of the sea, was evidently exposed to the action 
of the powerful Labrador current which piled these huge water- 
worn rocks into a compact mass which served to resist the waves, 
while the coarse gravel and sand were borne rapidly farther away 
out to sea on to lower levels. Oflf Chateau Bay lie several shoals 
where icebergs ground in the springtime, and remain far into the 


summer. The locality is known to fishermen as "The Home of the 

We find other examples further down the coast : at Domino there 
are beaches more than a hundred feet high ; at Sloop Cove is another 
sea-margin which is fully two hundred feet above the present sea- 
level. There is a remarkable example of sea-margin at Holton Big 
Island and some years ago the skeleton of a whale was found there 
by Captain Drake. 

It is reported by an old whaling captain that an ancient sea-margin 
in the vicinity of Nain is fully three hundred feet above high-water 
mark. In the interior of the peninsula there are some extraordinary 
examples of "Lake Terraces;'' but they do not lie within our prov- 

Labrador, as yet has not attracted 
ECONOMIC MINERALS, much attention as "a mineral coun- 
try ;" but it is not beyond the 

bounds of possible things that ere many years it will become a field 

for the miner, as it has some deposits of value. 

Gold has been found in quartz at "Three Island Har- 
GOLD. bor," yielding seven dollars a ton; and as there are nu- 
merous quartz-veins which cut the Huronian rocks, it is 
likely to be found elsewhere. There are many promising localities 
for the prospector, and in the near future we may hear of develop- 
ment in these sections. 

Silver w^as found a few years ago in the same region 
SILVER, in which gold was discovered. Some years ago the 

Hudson Bay Company did some mining in this line ; 
but the working proved unprofitable ; an assay made of bunches of 
galena gave from six to ten ounces per ton. 

Galena has been found at several localities in a band 
GALENA, of magnesian limestone, in quantities sufficient to be 
of economic value. It has been found in Lewis' Bay, 
at some distance from the mouth of the river. 



Copper li;i> hcL'ii located at Sf^Ccir I /arbor, near Cii[>i' 
COIMM'.R. Miii^ford, and at Hhuic Island, in CJrosicatcr Ihiy. 
Captain l-'itzgerald <»t Harbor Grace, Xcwfoundlaiid, 
did some prosjjectin^' in the neij^hbcjrhood many years aiju. 

Manj^anese lia> Ijeen found in Lc:<.'is' Hay, at 
M.\.\( l.WESI'.. some distance from the mouth of the river. 

Iron has been found abundantly at .several points along 
1R( )X. the coast, and a prospective industry rests in the develop- 
ment of the iron areas. 


"The immense deposits of hematite, magnetite, and siderite in the 
Cambrian formaticjn. and their \vides])read distrilnition, may at some 
future date be of economic importance, esj^ecially those containing 
a large percentage of manganese which fits them for use in the man- 
ufacture of steel b\ the P.essemer process. The mode of occur- 
rence of these ores appears to be closely analogous to that of the 
iron ores of Michigan and Wisconsin. 

The ores are always associated with a cherty limestone, and this 
cherty carbonate of lime is very widespread. The associated iron 
carbonates are more limited in their distribution, being confined to 
portions of the country adjacent to Koks-oak and Hamilton rivers. 


and to tlie northern part of the lludsoii IJay area. {(icDl. Sitri'cy of 

This mineral is found ahundantly in the Huronian 
PYRITES, and Cambrian rocks ; and is widely distributed, but 

only in one locality, so far, has any large deposit 
been found. This exists at Roicscll's Harbor, in Nachrak Bay. 
This deposit was prospected by Captain John Bartlett in 1904. He 
put in several drifts, and made tests at several points. The ore, so 
Captain Bartlett informs me, "was very mixed with tlint, a large 
band of which overlaid the deposit of Pyrites. The major part of 
the deposit carried a quantity of Pyritite. The ore bed is located 160 
feet above the water level, running along a precipitous cliff. During 
the operations carried on there a great deal of difficulty was ex- 
perienced from talus and snow." 

Graphite has been located at Nachvak Bay; but it 
GRAPHITE, is said to be too fine for concentration, and con- 
sequently of little commercial value. 

This mineral is found abundantly in the region of 
STEATITE. Hopcdale, and I have seen some excellent samples 
at Jlliidsor Harbor. 

This mineral occurs at several points along the coast, in 
]MICA. the massive pegmatite dykes met with everywhere 

throughout the Archean rocks ; but only in few places 
is it of commercial value, owing to the bent and broken nature of the 

Agates, Garnets, and Jasper are 
ORXA^ilEXTAL STONES, found at various points, the most 

lustrous being found in the vicin- 
itv of Domino and at the mouth of the Haiiiilton Rii'cr. 

This beautiful rock occurs at several places 
L.\15R.\DORITE. along the northern section of the coast; but 
it is found in i)rofusion at St. Paul's Inlet. 





"This is the forest primeval." 

— "Evangeline," Longfellow, 


The forest growth of the Labrador peninsula is neither varied nor 
extensive ; and the whole arborescent flora may be said to consist of 
nine species of trees. These species are: — White Birch {Bctiila 
papyrifera, Michx), Aspen (Populus tremuloides, Michx), Balsam 
Popular (Popiihis balsamifcra, Linn), Cedar {Thuya occidentalis, 
Linn), Jack Pine, Cypress {Pinns Banksiana, Lam.), White Spruce 
(Picea Alba, Link), Black Spruce (Picea Nigra, Link), Balsam Fir, 
or Spruce {Abies balsa)iiea, Miller), Tamarack Juniper {Larix 
Americana, Michx). 

"The tree-line skirts the southern shore of Ungava Bay and comes 
close to the mouth of the George River, from which it turns to the 
south-east, skirting the western foot-hills of the Atlantic coast-range, 
which is quite treeless, southward to the neighborhood of Hebron, 


where trees are again found in protected valleys at the heads of the 
bays. At Davis Inlet trees grow on the coast and high up on the 
hills, the barren grounds being confined to the headlands, which re- 
main treeless to the southward of the mouth of Hamilton Inlet. 
These barren islands and bare headlands of the outer coast, along 
with the small size of the trees on the lowlands, have caused the 
impression to be held regarding much of the Atlantic coast, which 
from Hamilton Inlet southward is well timbered about the heads of 
the larger bays and on the lowlands of the small river valleys." 
( Geological Survey. ) 

These sections have already attracted the notice of lumbermen ; 
and the following statistics are proof of the commercial possibilities 
of the Labrador woodlands. 

In the "Customs Returns of Newfoundland" for the year 1907 
we find an entry : — "Grand River Pulp and Lumber Co. 
Exports (Lumber) . . . $26,301.00." 

This represents a "cut" of nearly two million feet. Mr. Gillis, 
who established this Company on the coast, has kindly furnished me 
with the following interesting items : — 

The Grand River Pulp and Lumber Company, Ltd., acquired 
about 650 square miles of timber-lands on Grand River and tribu- 
taries from the Newfoundland Government in 1892, by application ; 
the cost of the areas is $220.00 rental annually. At "headquarters" 
the Company has an extensive plant, consisting of a saw-mill (which 
cost $25,000.00), wharves, piers, tug-boats and scows, large stores 
and warehouse, in fact everything necessary to prosecute an opera- 
tion of ten million feet a year. To date, about tw^elve million feet 
have been shipped. There are splendid shipping facilities, as ships 
of 2,000 tons can moor within a quarter of a mile of the mill. . 
which is located at GiUisport, in Carter Basin. Lumbering opera- 
tions are conducted at ''Grand Village," on Grand River, which 
flows into Goose Bay. There are not a dozen native families in the 
vicinity ; and laborers are brought from Nova Scotia and New- 

On looking up further statistics I find that other concerns have 
obtained timber-grants from the Newfoundland Government : — 

Wm. Muir, Son & Co., at Kenamou River, 187 square miles. 

Wm. Muir, Son & Co., at Dove Bank, 47 square miles. 

158 wiii-.iv:!-: Til I-: i-isiiers go. 

Copeland, Kirk & Soy, at Saiulw ich Hay, 130 square miles. 

R. D. Kirk, at North River, 182 square miles. 

Copeland. Kirk & Soy (2), at Saiuhvich Hay, 211 square miles. 

J. P. Benjamin, at Kenamou River, 224 s(|uare miles. 

In addition to these concessions, there are several unapi)roved 
applications for grants at other points. 

The areas are all favorably located; and there will doubtless be a 
large lumbering industry on the Labrador coast in the near future. 
"The most abundant timber on the coast is Black Spruce, and it 
probably constitutes ninety per cent, of the forest growth. It grows 
freely on the sandy soil which covers the great Archcan areas, and 
thrives as well on the dry hills as in the wet swampy country be- 
tween ridges. On the southern watershed the growth is very thick 
everywhere; so much so, that trees rarely reach a large size. To 
the northward, about the cdo^e of the semi-barrens, the growth on 
the uplands is less rank, the trees being in open glades, where they 
spread out with large branches resembling the white s])ruce. The 
northern limit of the black spruce is that of the forest belt ; it and 
larch being the last trees met with before entering the barrens." 
(Geol. Siin'Cy. Canada, '95.) 

Extensive growths of trees of commercial value are found at the 
bottoms of all the southern bays, from the Straits of Belle Isle to 
Xachi'ak: and there is a promi>ing held for [nil]) plants in these 
sections. The bays are all navigable for vessels of large size; and 
the only, though not an insurmountable difficulty, is the securing of 

Labrador has, in common with Xewfound- 
FOREST FIRES, land, suffered much from forest fires; and it 
is said that at least one-half of the interior 
has been totally destroyed by fire within the past twenty-five years. 
These fires are of frequent occurrence and often burn for an entire 
season, destroying thousands of square miles of valuable timber. 
The regions thus devastated remain barren for many years, and the 
second growth is never so good as the original forest. These fires 
are, in the majority of cases, traceable to the Indians, who start 
them either intentionally or through carelessness. 

The most disastrous fire of recent times occurred in 1870 and 


swept away millions of valuable timber. These fires occur fre- 
quently in the neighborhood of Hamilton Inlet ; and stringent meas- 
ures should be taken bv the Xewfoinidland Government to prevent 
this wanton destruction of a valuable colonial asset. 

Labrador is the land of dimpling 
RIX'ERS AND STREA^^IS. streams and of majestic rivers 

which "flow in silent majesty to 
the deep blue sea." 

The largest river on the South coast, the Esqitiniau.v Ri:cr, de- 
bouches into the lower part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, at some 
distance from the western entrance to the Straits of Belle Isle. It 
is about 250 miles long, but navigable only for ten or twelve miles. 
Xear its mouth is situated Esqiiiiiiau.v Island, on which the ruins of 
an old Indian fort were discovered some years ago. 

This river is known to the Indians as }[cs}ukaniaii Rizrr, and is 
said to take its rise, in the table-land of the interior, from the same 
source as the Hamilton River, which flows into Hamilton Inlet. 
There are no other rivers of importance on the south coast ; but 
there are several streams, teeming with trout, between Belles 
Amours and Battle Harbor, which will be described in a subsequent 

Between Battle Harbor and Sajid-icicli Bay there are several small 
rivers, but few of them are navigable. Three rivers empty into 
Sandwich Bay. The Paradise, or East Rker, flows from the east- 
ward, for nearly five miles; and, in a small lake at its head, salmon 
are found abundantly. 

Eai:;le River flows into the Bay from the westward; it is tidal, 
and navigable for small boats for nearly four miles above Separa- 
tion Point, its northern entrance. There are several rapids at a 
short distance from its mouth, and some splendid salmon pools; be- 
yond the pools there is one of the most beautiful cascades found on 
the coast. The "Falls" are nearly fifty feet high, and are very pic- 
turesque. A very excellent drawing of the falls may be seen in 
Prowse's "History of Newfoundland." 

A third river — ''W'hite Bear" or West Riier flows into the Bay 
above Dove Point. This is also tidal and navigable for some dis- 



tance. There is about a quarter of a mile of non-tidal water, with 
"Falls" eighty feet hi^h at its head. These "Falls," while lacking 
the picturesqucncss of the cascade on the Eagle, are more majestic, 
and not unlike the Montmorency "Falls," near Quebec. In spring- 
time, so the settlers declare, the roar of the "Falls" is heard for 
twenty miles in calm weather. 

These rivers arc all richly wooded; and several applications for 
timber licenses have been made to the Newfoundland Legislature. 

Three large rivers empty into Hamilton or Ivucktokc Inlet — the 
Grand or Hamilton, the Naskopi, and the Kenamou. 

Grand River (the Aslncanipi of the Indians) is the largest and 
most important river on the cD.T^t. Ft i'; nearly half a league in 

AoKiit-w i-.>i Ri\i-k. {Photo, Holloi^'oy.) 

breadth at the entrance, gradually decreasing in width for about 
twenty-five miles from its mouth ; it then becomes from one-eighth 
to a quarter of a mile wide ; from this size it never varies much as 
far up as it has been followed. Two hundred miles from its mouth 
it forces itself through a range of mountains, that seem to border 
the table lands of the interior, in a succession of tremendous "Falls" 
and rapids for nearly twenty miles. These "Falls" were accidentally 
discovered by an agent of the Hudson Bay Company — McLean — in 
1839. Above these the river flows with a very smooth and swift 
current : it has been followed for one hundred miles farther. A 
"Post" was established many years ago. 

Between the "Post" and the "Falls" it passes through a succession 


of large lakes, communicating with one another by very short straits. 
These lakes appear to cover a very considerable part of the table- 
land. They have not yet been explored, and their dimensions arc 
consequently not kninvn. Above the "Post" called Fort Xaskopi the 
river has not yet been explored, but the Indians report that "it comes 
from a long distance from the westward, and runs with a deep, 
gentle current, unol^structed by falls or rapids." The "Falls" on the 
Grand .River were visited by Pcrc Babel, an Oblate missionary, in 
1870; and a description of them is found in "Lcs Annales des 
Oblats," which may be seen at the Oblate Church, Saint Sauveur, 
Quebec. Bryant, who visited the "Falls" in 1891, thus describes 
them : — 

"A single glance showed that we had before us one of the great- 
est waterfalls in the world. Standing at the rocky brink of the 
chasm, a wild and tumultuous scene lay before us, a scene possessing 
elements of sublimity, and with details not to be apprehended in the 
first moments of wondering contemplation. Far up the stream 
one beheld the surging, fleecy waters and tempestuous billows, dash- 
ing high their crests of foam, all forced onward with resistless 
power towards the steep rock, whence they took their wild leap 
into the deep pool below. Turning to the very brink and looking 
over, we gazed into a world of mists and mighty reverberations. 

Here the exquisite colors of the rainbow fascinated the eye, and 
below and beyond the seething caldron the river appeared, pursuing 
its turbulent career, past frowning clififs, and over miles of rapids. 
. . . A mile above the main leap the river is a noble stream four 
hundred yards wide, already flowing at an accelerated speed. 

Four rapids, marking successive depressions in the river bed, 
intervene between this point and the "Falls." At the first rapid, the 
width of the stream is not more than seventy-five yards wide, and 
from thence rapidly contracts until reaching a point above the es- 
carpment proper, where the entire column of fleecy water is com- 
pressed within rock banks, not more than fifty yards apart. The 
effect of its resistless power is sublime; the maddened waters, sweep- 
ing downwards with terrific force, rise in surging billows high above 
the encompassing banks, ere they finally hurl themselves into the 
gulf below. A great pillar of mist rises from the spot, and numer- 
ous rainbows span the watery abyss, constantly forming and dis- 



appearing amid clouds of spray. An immense volume of water pre- 
cipitates itself over the rocky k-dnc and, under favorable conditions, 
the roar of the cataract can he heard for twentv miles." 

The Indian name for ■■'riic ( irand h'alls" — Patcschci\.'aii — 
means. "TIk' narrow place where the waters fall:" and like the 
native word "Xiaj^ara" ("Thunder of Waters"), thi^ Indian desig- 
nati<in contains a i)oetic and descriptive (|uality which it would be 
hard to im])rove. ( Prowse : "History of XcK'foimdIaiid.") 

The first map of the i lamilton Kiver cou!itr\- was constructed bv 
a Jesuit Missionarx', I- other Laiirc, dated "Checoutimi, August 2^. 


xoUTii-wi:s'r ki\"kr {Col^yri<:;lit. Oiiti)ii:; Pub. Co.) 

"The vallc)- of the Hamilton Rizwr. for about 120 miles from its 
entrance, presents a pleasing contrast to the barrenness of every 
other part of the countr}- around the bay. It is well timbered, and 
some of the trees are of large size ; intermixed with the spruce is a 
C(~insiderable quantity of white birch, and a few poplars are also to 
be seen ; a light loamy soil is also frequently to be found on the 
points of the River. There is a difference of twenty days in favor of 
this valley in spring and fall of the year ; this difference is to be 



attributed, in a great degree, to its favorable aspect to the south 
and west, and also in some measure to the warmth of the water 
coming from the westward." (Davies, Azotes on Esquimaux Bay.) 
The Kcnaniou River, which enters Hamilton Inlet from the south, 
cuts through the "Mealy Mountains." thirty miles from the coast. 
It is a succession of rapids, and scarcely admits of navigation, even 
bv canoes. 

A BIT OF THE INTERIOR {Copyright, Outing Pub. Co.) 

The Xaskopi or A'orth-zvcst River falls into the Inlet on the north 
side nearly opposite the mouth of the Kcnamou. The inlet is here 
twelve miles across. It takes its rise in Lake Michikamau ("Big 
Water") and the river itself, according to Indian custom, is called 
Michikamau Shipu. ... At the mouth of this river there is 
an important Hudson Bay Post, and within recent years the Revillion 
Bros, have established a station there. 

Within short distance from the Hudson Bay post there is an In- 
dian burial-place ; and many years ago a Church was erected in the 
locality by Pere Babel. It has now fallen into disuse, as the Indians 
no longer frequent this section ; they make their annual trips to the 
coast further west, within the borders of the Province of Quebec. 





hunter's paradise. 

"And there we hunted the walrus, 
The narwhale and the seal." 

"Discoverer of the North Cape," Longfellow. 

The fauna of Labrador, which has ever been regarded as one of 
its available assets, is declared to be ''the mingled circumpolar and 
boreal variety which prevailed in New England and the extreme 
northern States, as well as in Canada, during the glacial period, and 
which as well as the ice waned, migrating northward, was gradually 
driven towards the North Pole, though still lingering on the Alpine 
summits, and on the treeless barrens of Labrador." (Packard.) 

It is rich and varied, and embraces "the leviathan of the deep" 
and other commercially valuable specimens of the finny tribe, rich 
fur-bearing animals, and "great nature's happy commoners" — the 
abundant feathered tribe, marine and terrestrial. 

Aquatic mammals are numerous, and chief amongst them is the 
whale, of which several varieties are found. The quest of the 
"monarch of the sea" was probably the lure which first attracted 
European adventurers to the fishing grounds of Labrador. 

The earliest whalers who frequented the coast of 

WHALERS. Labrador were the Basques and Biscayans, but the 

precise date of their first ventures is conjectural. 

We find records of their adventures in the nomenclature of certain 

localities ; and on the Newfoundland coast we have "Port aux 

Basques," the terminus of the trans-insular railway. 

Following the Basques came the Bretons, who had reaped rich 
harvests from the deep long years before the Genoese navigator 
planted the standard of Spain in the western world. Later, came 
the hardy West-Countrymen from Devon, who laid the foundations 
of Britain's empire beyond the sea ; and, more recently, Americans, 
Newfoundlanders and Scotchmen. 



American fisliermen evidently have been continuously engaged in 
whaling for nearly two centuries ; and the ardor of the New Bed- 
ford skippers does not abate one jot. They have covered the globe 
in their quest for the valuable cetacean, and have reaped ricli har- 
vests from their ventures. 

Whaling in early times was conducted in brigs and schooners; 
to-day it is prosecuted with fast steamers which are equipped with 
every appliance which human ingenuity can contrive. Quite re- 
cently, however, there seems to be a revival of ancient methods, and 
New Bedford is again returning to the old regime. This will bring 
comfort to the literary genius of the whaling industry — the well- 


known Frank I'.ullen. who has given us such a delightful history of 
whaling in his "Cruise of the Cachalot." Just a few months ago. in 
a contrilnUion to a monthly magazine, he deplored the inhumanity 
and commercialism of modern methods, and sighed for a return to 
the "whale" boat and the brig. To us this seems a sorry exhibition 
of sentimentality, as we were under the impression that the electric 
harpoon is a less torturous process than the hand-stabbing of olden 



The following- interesting- description of modern whaling is con- 
tributed by a specialist, Mr. IJowers. the learned editor of the Xew- 
foimdland Tribioic: 

The Arctic whale fishery was formerly prosecuted successfully by 
Xewfoundland merchants who fitted out ships for Greenland, Baf- 
fin's Bay, Cumberland Bay and other Arctic Seas. The cargoes of 
oil secured on the voyages were readily sold in Scotland. The 
whale fishery was carried on by Americans from Bedford, Mass., in 
Hermitage Bay and Fortune Bay from 1796 to 1798. During the 
first year twelve vessels were employed, manned by fifteen men each, 
all of which vessels returned loaded. Owing to disputes between 
(ireat Britain and the United States the American whale fishery on 
the west coast of Newfoundland ended in about 1807. 

, ^ k „■•<"""■, 


The firm of Peter LeAIessurier & Co. commenced a whale fishery 
in Hermitage Bay, in 1 798, and continued it for four years, when the 
house of Newman & Co. purchased the premises. The industry was 
carried on by this firm at Gaultois from 1850 to 1890. Eight boats 
with seven men each and shore crew of thirty-five were employed. 
As many as fifty black fish were known to be killed in a day. The 
season's catch averaged 143 black fish and forty whales, yielding 
580 tons of oil. Nearly the whole of the population of Hermitage 


and Fortune I lays arc tlie descendants of those "liardy toilers of the 
sea." Tlie head of the tirm of Xewnian & Co. is now a haronet, and 
one of the (Hrectors of tlie I Sank of I-jij^land. They are represented 
in Newfoundland by the tirni of Uaine. Johnston & Co. 

In 1840 the local q;overnment passed an act otYering a bounty of 
£200 to each of the first three vessels landing not less than ten tuns 
of whale oil, or fifteen tuns of whale fat or blubber between the first 
day of May and the tenth day of November. Encouraged by this 
bounty two vessels 120 tons each were sent from St. John's to the 
western shore each manned by nineteen men. One belonged to 
Messrs. C. F. Bennett & Co., the other to ^Messrs. Job Brothers & 
Co. The business in these days was carried on by means of row- 
boats and harpoons. As many as one huuvlred whales were cap- 
tured in a season by these simple appliances. The blubber was ren- 
dered into oil in big pots heated by wood fires. 

Not till 1900 were the new, improved methods used in Norway 
adopted in Newfoundland. Adolph Neilsen, encouraged by Hon. 
A. W. Harvey, started whaling stations at Snook's Arm, Notre 
Dame Bay and Balena, Hermitage Bay. Suitable steamers were 
purchased in Christiania, and Norwegians were employed to man 
them. After a few months' operation it was found that large num- 
bers of sulphur bottom, finback and humpback whales frequented the 
bays and shores of Newfoundland. In 1904 over twelve hundred 
were captured, which yielded 1.783,300 gallons of oil, worth $80.00 
per tun. Experience showed that the best months to secure whales 
on the southern coast arc May, June and July, and in Conception 
Bay, Trinity and Bonavista Bays, on the eastern coast, August and 
September are best. The government thought it advisable to pass 
laws: (i) requiring the carcasses flensed of blubber to be towed 
fifty miles from shore to prevent pollution of the fishing grounds ; 
(2) restricting the distance between the factories to not less than 
fifty miles; (3) permitting only one steamer to each factory, and (4) 
imposing on each a license fee of $1,500, subsequently reduced to 


Hon. John Harvey, who has his lamented father's spirit of enter- 
prise in promoting home industries, happened to meet Dr. L. Ris- 
muller, and induced him to visit some of our whale factories. At 
Snook's Arm, on seeing the carcasses of whales towed to sea, Dr. 



Rismuller thought out a process whereby not only the expense of 
removing them so. far could be saved, but an industry promoted, 
whereby the tiesh and bones could be manufactured into guano. The 
Rismuller process proved successful, and is now used by the different 
whaling companies. Tt had the efifect of inducing a number of 
capitalists to invest in the industry, and in addition to those at 
Snook's Arm and Balena, several new companies were organized 
and factories were established at Bay Chaleur, Rose au Rue, Beaver- 
ton, St. Lawrence, Cape Broyle, Cape Charles, Dublin Cove, Lance 
au Loup. St. ]\Iary's, Aquaforte, Trinity, Safe Harbour, Harbour 

Grace, Hawke"s Bay, Port Saunders, Hawke's Harbour and Lark 
Harbour. From 1901 to 1904 the business increased from year to 
year and flourished like the proverbial "green bay tree." In the 
following year there was a drop of $20.00 a tun in the price of oil. 
It was found moreover that several of the factories were erected in 
unsuitable localities, and that the number of whales captured had 
considerably fallen off. For instance, in 1904, 1,375 whales were 
captured; in 1905, 892, and in 1906 only 429. As a result the fac- 
tories at Snook's Arm, Lance au Loup, Trinity and Lark Harbour 


were closed, while the catch at Aquaforte was only i8; Cape Broyle, 
3. and St. Mary's, 4. 

Three of the whaling;- steamers have been sold to parties prosecut- 
ing the industry in Japan and Corca, and several of the whaling 
companies have been "wound up." The profits made by the fac- 
tories in operation in 190 1-2-3 'ii'e reported to be from forty to 
sixty per cent. The loss durin<4 the subsequent three years, by some 
of the whaling companies, is reported to be from one and a half 
to two millions of dollars. From careful enquiries of several inter- 
ested, when interviewed, 1 karn that it is nearer the vicinity of 
$950,000. The following- figures show the luimber of factories in 
operation in 1906. the number of whales captured, and the quantity 
of oil, guano and bone exported : 

Factory. ^^'hales. 

Balena 44 

Bay Chaleur 58 

Rose au Rue 67 

Beaverton 24 

St. Lawrence 21 

Cape Broyle 3 

Cape Charles 25 

Dublin Cove 2"/ 

St. Mary's 4 

Aquaforte 18 

Safe Harbour 21 

Harbour Grace 17 

Hawke's Harbour 60 

Hawke's Bay 40 



of Oil. 



7 1 ,000 









3 1 ,006 









1 6,640 





















429 536.687 1,253 718 

The value of the whale oil, guano and bone exported in 1906 was 
$249,901 as against $418,898 the previous year. 

The number of whale factories in operation and the number of 
whales cai)tured last year (1907) were as follows: — At Balena, t,^; 
i5ay Chaleur, 37; Rose au Rue, 84; St. Lawrence, 30; Cape Broyle, 
2; Cape Charles, 31 ; Dublin Cove, 27; Aquaforte, 3; Hawke's Bay, 



Port Saunders, 31; Hawkc's Ilarbc^ur, 63; Trinity, 24; Snook's 
x\rm, 75; Beaverton, 42; total, 481. Two of the above factories 
paid 15 per cent, dividends. 

The vakie of the whale oil and guano exported in 1907 was 

Though the losses of the past three or four years' operations are, 
no doubt, depressing, yet several seem inclined to take an optimistic 
view of the future. The removal of the license fee, and particularly 
the restrictions of the number of steamers employed, are of obvious 
advantage. Although the vigorous whale-hunting about the bays has 
driven the mightv mammal further off the coast line, vet it is the 

• -jx-"-*.*^ ^..^ 


opinion of some of the whaling captains, and others, that they are 
as numerous as ever, but at a greater distance from the whaling 
stations. If this should prove to be the case then a tow steamer 
should be employed, as is done in Iceland to bring coal to the 
whaling steamers, and tow the whales captured from time to time 
to the factories. The large bays on the east, south and west of 
Newfoundland, are like inland seas, and could not be more suitably 


adapted to the breeding of whales, though on this point one has to 
be cautious in advancing an opinion, for it is difficult, if not impos- 
sible, to get reliable data on the natural history of this "mighty 
mammal," in so far as the time of breeding, the period of gestation 
or its age are concerned. Especially in respect to the age of the 
greatest of mammals, or animals, much exaggeration and difference 
of opinion exist from the time of Pliny to the present. He held that 
the balana, or whilpool frequenting the Indian Sea was as broad and 
as long as two acres of laud, while Lesson says he saw species of 
whales called delphiuus minimus, about two feet in length. A sul- 
phur bottom taken recently measured 79 feet. Its circumference at 
shoulder was 35 feet; fluke notch to shoulder 51 ft. 2 in.; tip of nose 
to eye, 16 ft. 2 in. ; length of skull, 19 ft. 6 in. ; breadth of skull, 
9 ft. 3 in.; weight of skull, 3 tons; length of jawbone, 21 ft.; weight 
of jawbone, i ton; length of flipper, 10 ft. 6 in.; weight of flipper, 
750 pounds; across flukes, 16 ft. 5 in.; weight of flukes, 1,600 lbs.; 
weight of flesh, 40 tons ; weight of bone, 8 tons ; weight of blubber, 
8 tons ; weight of viscers estimated, 3 tons ; weight of blood, 2 tons ; 
weight of whalebone, }i ton. The total weight was over sixty tons. 

Up to the present writing only seven sperm whales, including one 
this year at Hawke's Harbour, Labrador, have been taken in New- 
foundland. One was stranded in Safe Harbour last July, from the 
head of which was pumped 400 gallons of spermaceti, and from its 
blubber 2,000 gallons of sperm oil. It is not improbable that the 
sperm wdiale will find its way more frequently to our coast in quest 
of their favorite morsel, the squid or devil fish, a monster specimen 
of which was caught a few days ago by fishermen at Portugal Cove. 

The latest enterprise in Newfoundland in the whaling industry is 
the purchase of the S. S. "Sabraon" for the Newfoundland Steam 
Whaling Company, Ltd., by their managing director, Mr. Alexan- 
der McDougall. Her gross tonnage is 2,385; net, 1,541; horse 
power, 230. She has all the latest machinery and appliances of a 
floating whale factory. The "Sabraon," Captain Davidson, accom- 
panied by two tenders, the "Lynx," Captain Emmsen, and "Puma," 
Captain Hansen, all Norwegians, left here November 20th last year, 
for the South Shetlands. They were too late in the season getting 
down. The weather was excessively cold, and icebergs abounded. 
They secured 94 whales. Captain Davidson happened to be stand- 



ing near when a whale was shot, a swirling harpoon hawser was 
caught by the rope, and he met his tragic death by being swept over- 
board. Captain Emmsen, of the "Puma." took charge of the 
"Sabraon," and Second ( )t^cer Hansen took charge of the "Puma." 
After remaining in the Shetland Islands for about two months they 
started homewards ; called at North Sydney, Cape Breton, for sup- 
plies and bunker, and steamed for Labrador as far as Spotted Island, 
and Table Bay. where they captured 47 whales, making a total of 
141 for the cruise. The S. S. "Sabraon" and tenders reached St. 
John's the latter j^art of July, the former clearing for Greenock with 
4.000 barrels of oil and the latter docking for repairs. With the 
experience of the first voyage there is reasonable expectation of this 
being highly successful tinanciall}-. and is looked forward to with no 
little interest, not only by tlie shareholders, but the public generally. 


The steamers which prosecute the whale fishery on the coast of 
Labrador are similar to those which operate in connection with the 
"Sabraon." They are speedy little craft, and are armed with a 
small cannon, in the bow, from which the harpoon is discharged. 
A stout line is attached to the harpoon, which is "payed out" to give 
the whale "sea-room" until it becomes exhausted. It is then bound 
up to the side of the steamer by huge chain "slings" and conveyed 
to the Factory. A W' hale Factory is neither picturesque nor savorv ; 
and its presence in the neighborhood is unmistakable. The odor of 
the whale is diffused for miles, and within the near radius is de- 
cidedly objectionable. Whale factories are practically all of the 
same class of architecture, and consist of several huge bale-box 


shaped buildings capped by a cylindrical chimney, and fronted by a 
large "slip," on which the bodies of the leviathans are drawn up 
preparatory to the "carving." Every portion of the whale is util- 
ized : the fat is "rendered out" in immense tanks; the bones are 
ground into fertilizer ; and the refuse is converted into guano. Only 
the smell is lavishly wasted around the neighborhood. 

Besides the Sperm-whale three other varieties are taken along the 
coast: The I-'in-back (Balenoptera), the Hump-back {Balena 
mysticetus ) , and the Sulphur-bottom {Sibhaldius borealis). 

The Narwhal {Monodon monocems), 
THE NARWHAL, which has habits similar to the "White 

Whale," is found in the extreme north; it 
generally travels in bands or "schools," and seems to prefer the 
proximity of ice, so that its summer range is more northern than 
the white whale. It is distinguished in the water from the white 
whale by its darker color, its white spots, and its horns. The color 
becomes lighter with age, so that very old individuals become dirty 

According to the Esquimaux, the horn is confined to the males, 
and its chief use is for domestic battle. Only one horn is usually 
developed, growing out of the upper jaw. and projecting directly 
forward. The horns vary in length up to eight feet, and are com- 
posed of a very fine quality of ivory. This ivory is more valuable 
than that (>l)tainc(l from walrus tusks, being worth about four dol- 
lars a pound. It is sold for the China trade, where the Mongolians 
use it for medicine as well as ornamental ])urposes, and for the man- 
ufacture of cups supposed to absorb all poisons placed in them. (A. 
r. Low : "The Cruise of the Neptune.") 

The Walrus (Tn'eheehus rosinarns, Linn; 
Till*'. WALKl'S. Ak'ik, Esquimaux) is found in all the north- 
ern waters, where, like the Narwhal, it seems 
to prefer the presence of floating ice, and rarely comes out on the 
shore-ice. They are ver}- rarely found during later years south of 
Cape Chidley. 

In early days the Walrus was found as far south as the Magdalen 
Islands; and Challevoix (Historie de la Nonvcllc France) says that 





the bones of the walrus were found promiscuously on the islands in 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence as late as the beginning- of the eighteenth 

Hakluyt ("X'oyages") has similar records of the southern migra- 
tions of these aquatic mammals. In former days the walrus was 
known as "Morse" or "sea-ox"; and il was doubtless from the pres- 
ence of the walrus in the neighborhood that a headland, near the 
outlet of the Saguenay River, was named "Point aux X'aches" by 
early navigators. There is another point further east named, for a 
similar reason, presumably, "Millc J 'aches." 

"The walrus is necessary for the subsistence of the northern 
Esquimaux and their dogs. The flesh is strong and sustaining, the 
blubber is abundant and good, while the tusks are of great use for 
shoeing sleds (Koniatiks) and the manufacture of spears and har- 
poons, and other hunting and domestic gear. The present value of 
the walrus to civilization is small. Oil is made from the blubber, 
and the skins are used chiefly for '"l^uffing" metal goods. The ivory 
of the tusks is inferior, and only worth fifty cents a pound. The 
present price for hides is from eight to ten cents a pound, and con- 
sequently the entire products of a large walrus are under fifty dollars 
in value."' G"^^'^''^<-' <J^ the Xeptune.") 

The Grampus (Orca i^ladiator), otherwise known 
GRA.Mi'L'S. as "The Killer," is found in the north; it is very 

voracious and lives largely upon fish, seals and 
porpoises. An idea of its voracious habits may be formed from the 
fact that in the stomach of one were found fourteen porpoises and 
fourteen large seals; it choked to death swallowing the fifteenth. 
("Cruise of the Xeptune."") 

Several varieties of seals are found on Labrador. 
THE SEAL. The "Harbor-seal"" (Phoca Titiilitia) is seen at all 
points of the coast on the south and east. It as- 
cends the rivers in springtime, and it has been captured far up in 
the lakes of the interior. It is sometimes called "Fresh-water" seal, 
and is practically valueless. 

The "Flarp" seal {Pagophilus groculaudicus) is the most widely 
distributed mammal on the coast of Labrador and around the north 



coast of Newfoundlaiul ; and scaling is one of the most lucrative 
industries of the Colony. Its importance may be estimated from 
the fact that it employs nearly five thousand fishermen, and the 
capital invested is approximately two million dollars. The seal- 
hunt, or, as it is termed in the fishermen's vernacular "Swilin'," is 
one of the most exciting events in the fisherman's life. Formerly 
prosecuted by sailing vessels, it is now conducted in powerful steam- 
ers, some of them being the latest achievements in marine archi- 
tecture. The "hunt" begins on IMarch loth, and ends, legally, on 
May I St. Sealing has been prosecuted along the Newfoundland 
coast since the early days of the seventeenth century ; and as earl} 
as 1742 Fogo and Twillingate are said to have "made" nearly three 
thousand pounds from trade in seal oil. (Records, N. F. Board of 

"the three sisters," first sealin'g brig. 

"When George the Third was King" the sealing industry was 
vigorously conducted, but only as an inshore fishery; and every 
mercantile establishment had its "vats" for the rendering of oil. 
The seal fisherv in vessels began somewhere about the year 1800; 
and we learn that in 1804 more than 70,000 seals were taken by 
schooners and boats. In 1814 the seal-fishery Avas enormous, reach- 
ing the hundred thousand mark. 

In 1817 the worst seal-fishery on record is noted, only thirty-seven 
thousand being taken ; but in the year following the fishery was un- 
usually large, and several vessels returned from the "ice fields" in 
less than a fortnight "loaded to the scuppers." 



During the next quarter of a century the scaHnj^^ inrkistry as- 
sumed immense proportions; and ship-huildingf became an institu- 
tion throu.^hout Xewfoundland. Enr)rmous "bills" were made by 
sealers in these days: and 1 have often heard old fishermen tell of 
the years they "made a hundred pound" ($400.00). 

The introduction of steamers (the first two were the Bloudliound 
and the li'oif). in 1862, completely changed the money-making as- 
pect of the seal fishery: and nowadays a •'bill" of eighty dollars is 
regarded as something phenomenal. 


In my early years "getting a berth" or 
GETTIXCl A r)I*2RTH. "signing" for the seal-fishery was one 

of the great annual events : and the day 
set a])art by custom for this important function was St. Stephen's 
Day (the fishermen termed it "Stcphciiscs Day"). Hundreds of 
stalwarts might be seen decked in Sunday attire lounging around 
the planters' houses waiting to see the "Skipper." Some of the 
latter, known as the "Dig Seal Killer-." had ten times as many appli- 
cations for "berths" as the younger and inexperienced captains : and 
their crews were always "picked men." Towards evening, after 
the "signing" had been finished, the festive toilers regaled them- 


selves at the village "pubs."' and "We won't go home until morning" 
might be heard at intervals during the night as the roisterers wended 
their way homewards. There was rarely any serious breach of the 
peace, however, and the lieges were never called upon to make 

At the signing-time the "men of the frozen pans" received what 
was known as the "crop." This was an advance made to each man 
of goods to the value of ten or twelve dollars, consisting of a pair of 
skin boots, tobacco, "small stores," and occasionally a bottle of brandy 
or rum. The last-mentioned was carefully put away and kept for 
emergencies during the voyage. 

Towards the end of February the sealers poured into the shipping 
ports ; and it was a picturesque and interesting sight to see hun- 
dreds of "silers" coming into town from outlying sections, each 
armed with a "gafif" or a "long-tom" sealing gun. Their belongings 
were trailed behind them on small sleds, made usually with two 
flour-barrel staves for runners, and four pins which supported the 
frame w^hich held the "nunny-bag" or "turkey." Then there was a 
busy scene as the vessels, "Topsail-schooners," generally, made 
ready for the start. On March ist the fleet began to move, then 
quiet reigned in town until the homecoming. 

The fare of these sealers was not of a particularly attractive kind. 
It was solid and substantial, consisting of biscuit, pork, butter and 
"lassey-tea." On three days of the week the dinner consisted of 
pork and "duff," the latter being a mixture of flour and water with 
a little grease "to lighten it." This, when cooked, is not a desirable 
article of diet for dyspeptics. On the other days of the week the 
"grub" (the fishermen's term for food) is Hghter, consisting of 
bread and butter, and seal-meat when they "strike the fat." This 
bill of fare is still the sealers' menu; and it is a remarkable fact that 
little sickness occurs during the sealing voyage. 

"The experiences of a sealing voyage are various, 
THE HUNT, being influenced by the ever-shifting condition of 

the ice and direction of the winds. The grand 
aim of the sealers is to reach that portion of the "whelping grounds" 
of the seals, while the young are yet in their plump oleaginous baby- 
hood. The position of this icy-cradle is utterly uncertain, being 



dependent on the movements of the ice and the force of the waves. 
It has to be sought among vast ice-fields. At times, in endeavoring 
to push her way through, the vessel is caught in heavy ice ; and then 
dvnamite is resorted to to make a clearing. Occasionally vessels are 
"nipped"; sometimes they are crushed to atoms; and the crew are 
then obliged to find a refuge on board some other ship or make 

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their way to land, if possible. If the sealing-ships are lucky they 
"strike" the seals within a few days after leaving port ; and a "load" 
is secured in five or six days. But if they fail to find "the patch" 
they may roam the ocean for weeks, and return to port "clean." 
When the ship enters a "patch" of seals, excitement becomes 



intense : then the work of destruction begins. The seal is killed by a 
blow on the head from a "gaff" or "bat"; then it is "sculped." This 
means detaching the pelt from the carcass, which is left on the ice. 
When the sealer has secured a "tow" (five or six pelts) he hauls 
them to the ship, if she is near : but "pans" them if the ship is dis- 


tant. When the "panning" is completed the ship picks up these 
"pans," and if the number panned is sufficient for a "load" she 
"bears up" for home as soon as the pelts are stowed in the hold. 

On arrival at St. John's or Harbor Grace (these are now the only 
manufacturing centres), the pelts are discharged and the "skinners" 
have their innings ; the skin is removed from the fat by means of 
large knives, and immediately placed in grinders, whence it passes 
into tanks and is there converted into oil. The skins are salted and 
kept in bulk till sold. Formerly sealers received one-half the catch 
as their share of the voyage ; but under the new regime they receive 
one-third only ; and the "bill" is never large. 

The seal brings forth one cub at a birth ; and 
WHITE COATS, the young seal when whelped is known as 

the "White Coat," as it is then covered with 
a rich white fur. At the end of six weeks it sheds the white woolly 
robe, and a smooth, spotted skin appears, having a rough dark fur. 
When the seal has shed its coat it is known to fishermen as "Ragged 




Jacket." It then weighs about titty to fifty-tive pounds. In this 
con(htion it is known as a "Prime Harp," and is worth about two 
dollars. Seals are usually sold in quintals, the quintal being 112 

In early days, in the northern bays of Newfoundland, sealing was 
a very profitable business ; and it is within the recollection of some 
of the "old-timers" that even the gentler sex did not disdain to go 
"swilin"." The following is culled from a chapter of "Reminis- 
cences" : 

The seals, if I remember rightly, first struck the land on the tenth 
day of ]\Iarch. Some few men secured, that day, as high as seven 
or eight each, but, owing to a change of wind, had to slip their tows 
and run for life when within a mile from the land, as the ice was 
drifting from the shore. 

Sad to say, one or two men died from exhaustion when within 
a mile from land ; and one, not having strength to climb the "balli- 
caders," died clinging to the rocks after having reached the shore. 
Two were driven off and never heard of again. One man, a near 
neighbor of the writer, slipped his seals, with the initials of his 
name cut on the top pelt, about two miles from land, and after no 
little difficulty managed to reach terra firnui. 

On the eleventh day of March the wind blew from the southwest, 
and seals and ice were driven to sea. ]\len's spirits began to droop, 
and after two or three days both seals and ice were out of sight. 
Then it was that the hopes of all dropped far below zero. 

On the fourteenth day of March the wind blew fiercely from the 
northeast, and joy and gladness once more were the order of the day. 
The star of hope was again in the ascendant. 

The fifteenth day of March opened with the wind still northeast, 
and blowing very heavily. This continued all day ; and the sixteenth 
day, not to be outdone by its predecessor, piped out lustily his north- 
easter with an equally good humor. 

On the morning of the seventeenth day of March, long before 
dawn made her appearance in the eastern sky, hundreds of men were 
standing on the "ballicaders" with their ropes and gaffs all in readi- 
ness, waiting for the dawn to break. On the appearance of the first 
faint streak of light, the men leaped, and ran, but, good to say, not 
very far, as a little over one mile from shore the young harps were 


again met with in their grand thousands. Then the harvest really 
commenced, and for four consecutive weeks there was Httle else, 
but seals ! seals ! ! seals ! ! ! 

The man before mentioned as having his initials cut on his tow of 
seals, and who had to abandon them seven days previously, actually 
walked over the same pan of ice two miles from land and there 
found the tow of seals with his initials cut on the top pelt which he 
had to cast adrift seven days before. He took them the second time, 
hauled them to the land, and safely deposited them on the rocks. We 
might mention cii passant that the same poor fellow was lost with all 
hands belonging to his schooner a few years afterwards. 

The golden and greasy harvest continued over one month, and 
many men, a shade more fortunate than their neighbors, made, that 
spring, more than One Hundred Pounds each. Young harps, that 
spring, w'ere forty-two shillings and six-pence per hundred weight — 
hence the large wages made by the men of Notre Dame Bay. 

Day after day the sailing vessels could be sighted in the mouth 
of the bay ; but, owing to a heavy field of ice between the ships and 
the seals, which proved an embargo, the landsmen had the fun all 
to themselves. 

I feci that I ought not to close this short account without men- 
tioning the noble efiforts of two of the fair sex (notwithstanding 
the fact one of them was nearing the fiftieth mile post on life's 
journey). This woman, whose husband had, at that time, been ill 
for several years, and whose children were all young, actually took 
her rope and gaff, and, like a true heroine, earned many pounds 
towards feeding her little ones, and added not a few comforts to the 
happiness and welfare of her husband. The other, a damsel of 
twenty summers, followed suit, and before the California came to 
an end, had landed with her own rope and pluck no less a sum than 
One Hundred Pounds, in good English money ! 

The writer can vouch for the accuracy of both items, and was on 
the spot during the great reaping without scythe or sickle. (Tou- 
lingater in "Christmas Bells.") 

The seal-fishery of Labrador is possi- 
INSHORE EISHERY. bly of more ancient date than the fish- 
ery along the Newfoundland coast, 
though the latter has been prosecuted for centuries. A report of 



this industry was furnished, in 1802, to Governor Gambier, by Mr. 
Bland, of Bonavista. The writer of the report says : 

"This adventurous and perilous piu-suit is prosecuted in two dif- 
ferent ways — by nets during the winter months, and from March 
to June in ice-skitTs and decked boats, or schooners. The tishery 
by nets extends from Conception Bay to Labrador. About fifty 
pounds of strong twine are required to make a net, and each net is 
about forty fathoms in length, and nearly three in depth. Four 
or five men constitute a crew to attend to about twenty nets, but 
in brisk sealing this number of nets will require a double crew in 
separate boats. The seals bolt into the nets while ranging at the 
bottom in quest of food, which makes it necessary to keep the nets 
to the ground, where they are made to stand on their legs, as the 


phrase is, by means of cork fastened at equal distances along the 
head-ropes. The net is extended at the bottom by a mooring and 
killock fixed to each end, and it is frequently placed in forty fathoms 
of water, for we observe that the largest seals are caught in the 
deepest water. To each end of the head-rope is fixed a pole standing 
erect in the water to guide the sealers to the net, and when these 
poles are torn away by ice they are directed by land-marks, and find 
their nets with creepers. On the Labrador coast the seal-fishery 
begins about the beginning of November and lasts till Christmas. 
The seals upon this coast are of inany species. They are classed 


and distinguished by names known only to Newfoundlanders. Tars, 
Doatcrs, and Citiisii'ails, and many others, breed upon the rocks in 
the summer seaNm, and may l)e called natives, but these make but 
little part of our fishery; our dependence rests upon Harps and 
Bcdhniicrs. which are driven by ice from the north-east seas. The 
harp in its prime will yield from ten to sixteen gallons of oil, and 
the bedlamer, a seal of the same species, only younger, from three 
to seven. 

"The entire catch at P>onavista may be estimated at ten thou- 
sand, two-thirds of which are Harps. The Harps yield thirteen 
shillings each, and the Bcdlanicrs, seven shillings-and-sixpence." 

The early French settlers and the ]\Iontagnais Indians carried on 
seal-fishing very extensively ; and the names of many of the capes 
on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence are derived from 
the habits of the seal. e. g.. Katashquan ("W'here the seals land"), 
opposite the norlh point of Aiiticosti, and L'ansc a loup (marins), 
"seal creek." 

The "Square-Flipper" (Phoca barbatus) 
SQUARE FLIPPER. — the largest seal known, is occasionally 

taken on eastern Labrador. The young 

of this variety weighs 150 pounds; the adult sometimes turns the 

scale at 600 pounds. 

The "Hood Seal" {Cystop}wra cristata) is found late in spring 

far out to sea by sealing-steamers. It weighs about 80 pounds when 

"prime" ; and the old seals weigh between 300 and 400 pounds. The 

"Hood Seal" is so called because it has a sack or hood on its nose; 

when attacked, this hood is infiated. and it is almost impervious to 

shot. This peculiarity is found only in the male. 

Bears are mentioned as early as 1498 ; for we read 
THE BEAR, in Hakluyt (\'oyages III, p. 27). in connection 

with Cabot's report of Labrador : "The soil is 
barren and yieldetli little fruit, but it is full of beares, and stagges 
far greater than our>." They are mentioned in the report of Cor- 
tereal's voyages ; and Cartier records their presence on the coast. 
To the old navigators it was known as a "water-animal." Three 
varieties of Bear are found on the coast: the Barrcn-o-round Bear 



{Ursus arctos. Richardson) ; the Black Bear (Ursits Amcricanus), 
and the Polar Bear (Thalasaretos iiiaritimus). The Barren-ground 
Bear is found in the northern barrens of Labrador, and skins of this 
large animal are frequently brought for sale to the Xorlhern Hud- 
son Bay posts. The Naskopi Indians have numerous tales about its 
size and ferocity. The Black Bear is found in the burnt districts 
of the interior, and several specimens have been found in tlie neigh- 
borhood of Hamilton Inlet. This species as a rule is contined to 
the coast, and rarely travels inland, except to produce its young. 
The young, from one to three in number, are born in holes under 
the rocks, lined with brush, grass, and moss, towards the end of 
October. At time of birth they are the size of a large rat, white 
in color, helpless, and with closed eyes. They are suckled for five 
months, the male assisting in the rearing. On the Atlantic coast 


the Polar Bear is occasionally found as far south as the Straits of 
Belle Isle, whither it is carried from the north on the ice-floes. 
North of Hamilton Inlet, it is frequently met with along the coast 
and on the islands, being common about Cape Chidley and along 
Hudson Strait. During the winter of 1894 the tracks of three white 
bears were seen close to North-west River, at the head of Hamilton 
Inlet, and a few specimens have been killed in that locality. (Geol. 
Survey, Can, 1895.) 


TIk' ("arihou is one of the most useful, as well as 

(. .\|\11'.( )['. iiiK' of the mo'^t ])k'ntiful animals on the coast; and 

il tdrnis an inipiuianl ilcni in the domestic economy 

of the ln(hans and the l'>(iuimaux. Twcj species of Caribou are 

found (in tlic coast, though the settlers do not seem to recognize 

iIk' (li>linction between the two varieties. The Woodland Caribou 


(Rangifcr Caribou, Linn) within the past twenty-five years was 
plentiful throughout the southern wooded region of the Labrador 
coast, but is now practically exterminated. On the upper Hamilton 
River this species is still met with in small bands, but, according 
to the testimonv of the Lidians, the numbers at present killed are 
onh a small percentage of the numbers annually slaughtered a few 



years ago. The scarcit}- of Caril)on means starvation to the inland 
Indians; and some cases are recorded as having recently occurred. 

The Barren-ground Caribou {Rangifcr Grociilaiidiciis. Linn) 
ranges in immense herds over the barren grounds of the peninsula. 
According to the information obtained from the Naskopis, this spe- 
cies is believed to spend the summer near the coast, where the cool 
sea-breezes keep down the i)est of tlies. In the autumn lhc\- migrate 
to the uplands, and return again to the true barrens in May. There 
are apparently three distinct herds of the Barren-gruuuil Caribou, 


one on the Atlantic coast, which passes the summer on the high- 
lands between Xachvak au:l Xain ; a second, which crosses the 
lower part of the Koksoak Ri\er and summers on the west side of 
Ungava Bay; and a third, which summers along the north-east side 
of Hudson Bay. 

The principal hunt is made during the fall migration, when the 
stags are fat and have not yet mated with the females; and during 
this hunt the slaughter is dreadful. The Indians usually kill when 
the Caribou are crossing a stream. A feast follows the annual hunt, 

igo WIll'.RI' tup: FTSIIRRS GO. 

and the haunolK's and hdn}- parts arc then consumed; the softer por- 
tions arc cut into lon,<;- strips, smoked and preserved for future use. 

Many years aq'o. (huMiig a visit to an Indian encampment on the 
Es(|uiniau.\ Ri\er, I was offered some of this commodity for diinicr. 
It resembled a strip of very (hrty sole leather. I declined the hos- 
pitality of mine host on this occasion ; but later I discovered that the 
sole-leather s;rub was not l)y any means as ill-flavored as it appeared. 

The Caribou furnishes the Montaj^iiais and Naskopis with cloth- 
ing as well as food ; but they now seem to prefer the white man's 
cheap honies])un and tweed, to deer-skin. The Caribou are erratic 
in their movements, and can never be depended upon to return to 
their former haunts; and when the hunt fails, the Indians are face 
to face with starvation. Such a visitation has occurred frequently 
within past years; and in 1893. 150 Indians died of starvation in the 
northern section of Labrador. In evidence given before the Com- 
mittee of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1851, a letter was read 
which says: "Starvation has committed great havoc among our 
old friends the Xaskopis, numbers of whom met their death from 
want last winter; whole camps of them were found dead, without 
one survivor to tell the tale of their sutYerings." {Gcol. Survey of 
Canada, 1895.) 

The Moravian missionaries on tlie coast also report that Caribou 
are fast diminishing in numbers. Here is an excellent opportunity 
for the philanthropy of some magnate to demonstrate his charity on 
behalf of suffering luimanit\-. The wherewithal for the sustenance 
of the Labrador Indians may be provided by the introduction of 
Reindeer to offset the diminution of Caribou. 

The Montagnais have a rather singular 
INDIAN Cl'STOMS. custom in connection with the Caribou. 

They always preserve the antlers of the 
first doe which is killed on their march inland in the fall. Before 
they return to the coast in Spring they place the antlers on a lake, 
where they sink to the bottom when the ice breaks up, and they are 
thus not gnawed by any carnivorous animal. 

The Naskopis are said to hang the haunches of the stag first killed 
on the branch of a tree to propitiate the Manitou and secure good 
luck during the season. 



Viilpcs z'ulgaris, Fleming (Red, Cross, Silver, and 
THE FOX. lilack Fox). These animals are only color varie- 
ties of the same species. On the Moose River, in 
1887, the writer found a litter containing- seven kits; of these two 
were red, three were cross, and the remaining two black or silver, 
thus showing that the color of foxes no more constitutes varieties 
than does the difference of color in a litter of kittens of the common 
cat. There appears to be a greater proportion of dark-colored foxes 
in the northern region of Labrador than in the southern. The fox 
is found throughout the peninsula from the St. Fawrence to Hudson 
Strait, where it is taken in the barrens and along the coast by 
Escjuimaux. Most of the skins arc taken before Christmas, as the 
fur becomes poor early in the Spring. 


This variety is found most 

VULPES LAGOPUS abundantly in the barren 

(ARCTIC FOX, WHITE FOX), grounds. It is rarely taken 

south of Lake Michichika- 
niau. Along the seaboard the white fox ranges farther south, and 
is plentiful about Hamilton Inlet. Most of the foxes along the 
southern Atlantic coasts are said to be migrants from the northern 


coasts, and they arc rarely caught south of Hamilton Inlet before 
that body of water is frozen over. The Blue Fox (Var. fitliguiosiis) 
is much less abundant than the white, with which it is found. It is 
very rare along the southern half nf the Atlantic coast. {Gcol. Sitr- 
vey of Canada, 1895.) 

The Wolf (Canis liil^tis. Linn) is rarely seen on the coast. 

The Wolverine {Gulo Inscns, Linn) is 
THE \\'(JL\ EKIXE. abundant throughout Labrador. This 

destructive animal is the personification 
of the dcril among the Indians, owing to its cunning and voracious 
habits. It is known to French-Canadians as "Carcajou." The In- 
dians tell some very extraordinary stories about the ferocity and 
intelligence of the wolverine ; and it seems nothing is safe from its 
predations. It is seldom captured, as its cunning seems to protect 
it from falling into traps. If caught the wolverine usually gnaws 
off its imprisoned member, or takes the trap with him. "Like tame 
ravens, it does not seem to care what it steals, so that it can exercise 
its propensity to commit mischief." Mr. Ross, an agent in the 
service of the Hudson Bay Company, says that he "knew a hunter 
who left his lodge unguarded during his absence, and on returning 
he found it completely gutted : the walls were there, but nothing 
else. Blankets, guns, kettles, knives, and all the other paraphernalia 
of a trapper's lodge had vanished, Jind the tracks left behind showed 
who had been the thief. He set to work, and by carefully following 
i.p all the paths, recovered, with some trifling exception, the whole 
of his property." ( Hind. "Explorations in Labrador.") 

The I'lsher. or Pekan, which belongs to tiie 

THE FISHER, same family, is found rarely on southern 
Labrador. It is said to derive its name 
"Fisher" from its predatory habits, as it is a notorious thief, and 
plunders the bait from fox traps without detection. 

The Mink (Putoriits rison, Brisson) is found only on the south- 
ern part of Labrador; and it is now reported scarce. 

The ermine and weasel are found abundantly in the wooded 

The Otter (Lutra Ca}iadcnsis, Turton) is found throughout the 


wooded sections of the coast, and is reported abundant on the upper 
Hamihon River, especially in the vicinity of "Grand Falls," where 
a number of Indian families congregate in spring to hunt it. Within 
recent years it is not found abundantly in the southern sections ; and 
old trappers have told me that they believe it will soon be extinct 
unless some restriction is placed on the destruction of young broods. 

The Sable (Marten, Miistela Americana) is 
THE SABLE, one of the most abundant and valuable fur- 
bearing animals on the coast. It is of brown 
color, yellowish on the throat, and its fur is extremely lustrous. The 
largest and darkest skins are found in the far north. The im- 
portance of the marten in fur countries may be gathered from the 
returns of the Fur Companies of London, which handle eighty to 
one hundred thousand skins annually. The marten is peculiar in its 
habits, and disappears periodically and it is unknown what becomes 
of it. The marten hunt is made after the smaller lakes are frozen, 
until December, and again during the months of March and April, 
after which the skins are of little value. 

The Beaver {Castor fiber, Linn) is common 
THE BEA\'ER. on certain sections of the coast ; but the same 

story is told by trappers regarding the Beaver 
as that of the Otter. Within the last twenty-five years the number 
of dams on the southern sections of the coast is being gradually 
diminished ; and some measures are imperatively necessary to pre- 
vent the total extinction of this useful animal. Some years ago 
trappers in the Straits of Belle Isle reaped a rich harvest from 
beaver skins; but the number now procurable is comparatively small. 
This is perhaps the most interesting of all fur-bearing animals in its 
habits, as the beaver seems endowed with almost human intelligence. 
A beaver-dam is one of the most ingeniously constructed domiciles. 
"The beavers always make their winter house on the shore above 
the water-level, with a road leading to it from the water ; perhaps 
the road under the ice and in the earth is eighteen to thirty feet long. 
They keep their food in the water above the dam, and live in a 
warm house on shore. Hunters "sound" the ice close to the shore, 
and near the dam, to find the road to the house where the beaver 


always runs when alarmed. When the roads have been found — for 
there are sometimes several — the ice is cut through, and the first 
road stopped. Then other soundings are made to discover which 
way the roads run, until the house is reached, when the beaver is 
pulled out." (Hind, "Explorations.") 

I have never seen this process, but to me the ruined dams are a 
very melancholy sight. It seems a pity to disturb these wonderful 

The Lynx, or Mountain-cat (Lynx Canadensis, 
THE LYNX. Demarest) is found abundantly on the coast. It 

is named the "dandy" of the denizens of the 
woods, owing to its fondness for perfumes. Its weakness in this 
direction often means capture. The Indians say that the num- 
ber of Lynx varies with that of the rabbits, which are the natural 
food of this predatory animal. The Lynx is a fierce and dangerous 
animal; and some years ago I had an adventure with one of these 
treacherous brutes which I would not care to duplicate unless well 

The Lynx formerly played an important part in Indian mythology. 
The Indians supposed that the world was created by Atahcoam, and 
that a deity named Messon repaired it when it was old. One day 
Mcssoit was hunting with lynxes instead of dogs; his savage com- 
panions swam into a lake and were drowned. Messon searched for 
them everywhere without success, when a bird told him that he 
would find them in the middle of the lake. He entered the lake 
to bring them back, but the lake began to overflow its banks, and 
finally deluged the world. Messon, astonished, sent a crow to bring 
him a piece of earth from which he intended to reconstruct the land, 
but the crow could not find any. He made an otter dive into the 
waters, but the otter was as unsuccessful as the crow. At last he 
sent the muskrat, who brought him a little bit, from which Messon 
reconstructed the earth as it is now. He presented an Indian with a 
gift of immortality, enclosed in a little box, subject to the condition 
that he should not open it. As long as he kept the box closed, he 
was to be immortal ; but his curious wife, of course, was anxious to 
see what the box contained ; she opened it, and ever since the Indians 


have been subject to death. {"Relation dc la Nouvclle France, en 
Vannee 1634.'") The same tradition is also found amongst other 
tribes of Indians. (Hind, "Explorations:") 

The Muskrat, which also plays an important 

THE MUSKRAT. part in Indian legends, is found abundantly 
on the south coast of Labrador. To the 
ordinary sportsman the little ]\Iuskrat is hardly worthy of attention, 
but it emulates the beaver in its ingenuity. The muskrat builds a 
most comfortable house. In an article entitled "The Keeper of the 
Water-Gate," published in "Leslie's Popular Monthly," Mr. G. D. 
Roberts describes this strictly utilitarian structure : 

"The entrance is dug with great and persistent toil from the very 
bottom of the bank, for the better discouragement of the muskrat's 
deadliest enemy, the mink, runs inward for nearly two feet, and then 
upward on a long slant some five or six feet through the natural 
soil, to a point where the shore is dry land at the average level of 
the water. Over this exit, which is dry at the time of the building, 
the muskrat raises his house. 

"The house is a seemingly careless, roughly rounded heap of grass 
roots, long water-w^eeds, lily roots and stems and mud, with a few 
sticks woven into the foundation. The site is cunningly chosen, so 
that the roots and stems of alders or other trees give it secure 
anchorage ; and the whole structure, for all its apparent looseness, is 
so w^ell compacted as to be secure against the sweep of the spring 
freshets. About six feet in diameter at the base, it rises about the 
same distance from the foundation, a rude, sedge-thatched dam, of 
which something more than three feet may show itself above the 

"To the unobservant eye the muskrat house in the alders might 
look like a mass of drift in which the rank water-grass had taken 
root. But within the clumsy pit is a shapely, small, warm chamber 
lined with the softest grasses. From one side of this chamber the 
burrow slants down to another and much larger chamber, the floor 
of which, at high water, may be partly flooded. From this chamber 
lead down two burrows, one, the main passage, opening frankly in 
the channel of the creek, and the other, longer and more devious, 
terminating in a narrow and cunningly concealed exit, behind a sub- 


merged root. This passage is little used, and is intended chiefly as 
a way of escape in case of an extreme emergency, such as, for 
example, tlic invasion of a particularly enterprising mink by way 
of tlic main water-gate. 

■■The muskrat is no match for the snake-swift, bloodthirsty mink, 
except in the one accomplishment of holding his. breath under water; 
and a mink must be very ravenous, or quite mad with the blood-lust, 
to dare the deep water-gate and the long subaqueous passage to the 
muskrat's citadel at seasons of average high water. In times of 
drought, however, when the entrance is nearly uncovered and the 
water goes but a little wa\ uj) the dark tunnels, the mink will often 
glide in, slaughter the garri>on and occupy the w^ell-built citadel." 
(C. (;. D. Roberts.) 





"Flowers spring up 
Unsown, and die'ungathered." 


The Botanical Literature of the coast of Labrador is not ex- 
tensive. A [Moravian missionary, the Rev. Samuel Weiz, was the 
pioneer of Botanical explorers ; and in recent years the Rev. Arthur 
Waghorne did important work in categorizing the interesting speci- 
mens of field and forest growth of the coast. It was my good 
fortune to make several journeys with this enthusiastic lover of 
nature during the years he spent on the coast of Labrador; and 
later, he was my clerical neighbor during his incumbency of the 
New Harbor Mission in Newfoundland. 

Mr. Waghorne's collection was the most extensive ever gathered 
on the coast ; and to him is due much of the knowledge at my dis- 
posal regarding the Flora of the Northland. His labors extended 
over several years. His untimely death left a great void in scientific 
circles in the old home-land ; and I am not aware that any other 
botanist has resumed the work he had so successfully inaugurated. 
Mr. Waghorne was the greatest enthusiast I have ever met ; and 
during his mission tours it was not unusual to find him laden with 
a miniature herbarium. His advent to certain little hamlets in tlie 
old home-land was an ever-ending matter of curiosity to the house- 
wife of the little fishers' cot where he usually put up. I have seen the 
good dame stand in wonderment watching the botanist select and 
categorize his specimens. She "couldn't see for the life of her what 
the parson wanted all that old rubbish for !" That "rubbish" was 
often a valuable acquisition to the store of the scientific explorer. 
Mr. Waghorne left an exceedingly valuable monograph on the 
"Lichens and Mosses of Newfoundland and Labrador." In the 
enumeration we find twenty-two species and thirty-one varieties of 
a lichen, or "tree-moss," which is seemingly destined to play an 


important part in the domestic economy of Newfoundland and 
Labrador, viz., the Ckidonia rangifcrina, the favorite food of the 


Lichens perform an important part in 

VALUE OF LICHENS, the general economy of nature, and 

they are distributed over every part 
of the world. Their distribution is regulated, not only by the pres- 
ence of suitable soil, but also by atmospherical and climatical condi- 
tions. It is claimed that their geographical range is more extended 
than any other class of plants, occurring as they do in the warmest 
as well as in the coldest regions. On Labrador several valuable 
species have been located ; and the gneissoid rocks are made even 
picturesque by the presence of this humble growth. 

''The first in order of importance is the Reindeer Moss variety 
known as 'Reindeer' moss {Cladonia rangiferina) , which at every 
step inspires the traveller in the Laurentian country with admira- 
tion for its beauty, its luxuriance, its wonderful adaptation to the 
climate, and its value as a source of food to the mainstay of the 
Indian — the Caribou. The Laplanders not only depend upon it for 
their herds of domesticated reindeer, but they gather it during the 
rainy season and give it to their cattle. It is not unpalatable as an 
article of human food." (Hind, "Explorations.") 

Next in importance to the "Reindeer" 
THE "ROCK-TRIPE." moss is the variety known as "Tripe- 

de-roche" (Sticla pulmonaria), which 
is found on the trees as well as on rocks. Newfoundland fishermen 
term it "Molldow" (Mildew). This contains many nutritive proper- 
ties; and it is used medicinally by the Indians; it is not unfrequently 
used by hunters when food is scarce. When boiled, it yields, like 
Iceland moss, a jelly which is not unpalatable. This tripc-de-roche 
grows abundantly on the Labrador peninsula, and may yet become 
economically valuable as the source of a brown dye which is largely 

"Springing on the edges of tufts of caribou moss, the red-cup 
lichen ( Cladonia gracilis) is extremely common ; sometimes it gives 
to the surface of the rock a vermilion hue for a considerable space 
round the tufts, under whose shelter it flourishes. 


"The vast distribution of lichens on Labrador, from the mournful 
'beard-moss' which hangs from the branches of dying spruce, to the 
ever-beautiful caribou moss, will possibly give some importance to 
those rugged wastes, more especially as the applications of lichens to 
the arts are becoming daily more numerous. 

"One of the characteristics of this beautiful class of plants is their 
duration ; they grow with exceeding slowness, but retain their gen- 
eral form and vitality for many years. They are only 'time-stains,* 
and well do they deserve their name. They survive the most intense 
cold, and live during long droughts in tropical climates. From the 
polar zones to the equator, under all conditions of heat and cold, on 
the most unyielding and barren rocks, on the living and on the dead, 
wherever there is light, lichen? grow." (Hind.) 

This useful moss is found in the deep 
SPHAGNUM MOSS, glen and on the hillsides of the coast, 

and is always as "full of water as a 
sponge." In places it may be seen advancing like a floating garden 
over a dark pool, and woe betide the unwary traveller who steps 
too heavily on this deceptive mass. This moss might be used for 
many purposes : it makes excellent bedding-material, and it is much 
preferable to the "excelsior," or sea-weed, which is now so exten- 
sivelv used in the manufacture of mattresses. 

Among these mosses the Labrador-tea 
LABRADOR-TEA. (Ledum) is found abundantly; and its 

bunches of white flowers are conspicuous 
and attractive. A dwarf pea is common, as well as dwarf purple 
iris, alpine chickweed, marsh trefoil, mountain-heath, and alpine 
azalea, with great bunches of fleshy-leaved sedums (Stone-crop) or 
live-longs, while their purple and yellow flowers reach a height 
inversely in proportion to the exposure of their positions. This lat- 
ter plant seems particularly fond of growing on the roofs of fisher- 
men's "tilts" and other sod-covered houses along the coast. A 
pretty flower looking like a violet is common, with a rosette of yel- 
lowish leaves at the base (Pinguicula vulgaris), and a moss-like 
plant, beset with tiny pink flowers, the moss campion {"Cushion- 
pink.") (Townsend.) 



Owing to the short season of growth, Labrador 
BAKEAi'l'LK. has a Hora numerically rich in individuals, but 
poor in species, and the flora of the northland is 
similar in many respects to that of Norway. 

For a detailed account of the flora of the peninsula, Packard's 
interesting volume may be consulted with advantage ; here we refer 
only to tlie berries which are of such interest from an economic 
standpoint. The berry which is so characteristic of Labrador is the 
succulent Cloudberry, here called "Bakeapple" (Rtibns Chaniae- 
moriis), which attains a size rarely seen elsewhere. This is found in 
abundance all over the coast ; and it is gathered in large quantities 


by Newfoundlanders and natives. It is supposed to be a sovereign 
remedy for scorbutic diseases ; and is in great use amongst the 
Esquimaux, who call it Akbik. The French call it Cliicote. Several 
localities on the northern part of the coast are named after it ; and 
it is not improbable that the Newfoundland name is derived from 
the Indian "Bik" (apple). We find several places named Akbik, 
Akbiktok, i. e., places where the Bakeapple grows. We have also 
the Newfoundland fisherman's nomenclature in "Bakeapple Bight," 
and "Bakeapple Marsh." The flavor of the "Bakeapple," when 


ripe, is not unlike a rich Gravenstein. It is then of amber color; 
and in the unripe stage, in which it is usually gathered, it is not 
unlike a fameusc apple in color. Within recent years there is a 
regular industry both in Newfoundland and on the coast of Labra- 
dor canning this delicious fruit. Its leaves are particularly attract- 
ive, in autumn ; and they are often gathered for decorative purposes, 
and are of ever}- hue and color and keep indefinitely. 

(Vaccinium Myrtillus), called by Newfound- 

BILBERRIES. landers and the natives of Labrador "Herts." 
(or Uliorts), are found in great abundance on 
the coast, particularly in the southern sections, where it attains an 
enormous growth. I have seen specimens of this luscious fruit as 
large as a Catawba grape. The natives of the coast make delicious 
wine from the Bilberry, and I have tasted some in the Straits of Belle 
Isle which was more palatable than the ordinary port wine of com- 
merce. If it is kept for a couple of years it obtains a bouquet almost 
as rich as Nezvman's Port. 

The Curlew-berry {Empctrum Nigrum) is also found in great 
abundance in certain localities on the Southern part of the Labrador 
coast. It was doubtless so named because it afforded food to the 
numerous flocks of curlew which frequented the coast in former 
years. It is rather surprising to find Sportsmen ( ?) who con- 
tend that the curlew feeds on fish; and they allege as proof of their 
contention the Labrador adage, "No curlew, no herring." Herring 
have abandoned the northern waters within recent years, and by a 
singular coincidence curlews also have almost entirely disappeared. 
There is absolutely no connection between the two. I have shot 
numbers of curlew in the vicinity of "Cut-throat," at Assizes Har- 
bor and elsewhere, and the entrails contained nothing but a large 
feed of the Empetrum nigrum. Possibly the said Sportsmen ( ?) 
were unable to differentiate the curlew from a bird which has a 
decided piscatorial fiavor — the beach-bird, a species of plover. 

I have seen it somewhere asserted that the wild strawberry 
{Fragraria Vesca) is "found abundantly on the coast of Labrador"; 
and the writer offers in evidence the name of "little port near Ailik, 
named Strawberry." 

This is ben trovato; but I am sorry to destroy this little fiction. 


H I am well informed, the "little port" owes its name to a fisherman 
on board the old brig "Rusina," more than sixty years ago. The 
"Rusina" was one of our vessels. The size of the harbor doubtless 
suggested its name, as an old expression in vogue even in my early 
days, to express things diminutive, was : "As big as a bit of bread 
and a strawberrv." 

Recently an attempt has been made by 
PARTRIDGE BERRY, a famous botanist to propagate the 

Cloudberry in the Western United 
States, but we have not learned what success Luther Burbank has 
achieved. Another berry which has become commercially valuable 
both on the coast of Labrador and in Newfoundland is the "Part- 
ridge Berry." This is improperly called the cranberry. It differs 
greatly from the cranberry of commerce (Vaccinium Oxycoccos), 
which is much larger, and by no means so highly flavored as the 
Partridge Berry {Vaccinium Caespitosnm, Micchel). 

This berry is largely distributed over the coast, and is found 
practically in every settlement from the Straits of Belle Isle to Nain. 
It is gathered when partially ripe, and packed in barrels, for export. 
Formerly it might be purchased for five cents a gallon ; to-day it is 
quoted at forty cents. The Partridge Berry is used chiefly in the 
manufacture of dyes. The juice is of rich crimson color, and it is 
very lasting. The manufacture of packages for the exportation of 
this ubiquitous fruit now aiTords employment to numbers of coopers, 
who in past times did a lucrative trade in the manufacture of her- 
ring-barrels. This seems rather strange, but it is a fact. 




"The birds, great nature's happy commoners." 


The Hst of birds found on the coast of Labrador is large in indi- 
viduals, if not in species ; and the ornithological literature is exten- 

The first ornithologist who visited the coast of 

AUDUBON. Labrador was the celebrated Audubon, who with 
a party of scientists landed at Natashquan River, 
in 1833. He wrote an extensive account of the feathered tribe; and 
he has given a graphic description of the destruction of bird life 
on the western part of the coast. Among the "Episodes" published 
in his "Ornithological Biographies," Audubon wrote a highly dra- 
matic one on the "Eggers of Labrador," in which he deprecates the 
"rascally way in which 'Eggers' destroyed the eggs and breeding 

"Before the arrival of the white man — nature's worst enemy — the 
Indian, the Esquimaux, the fox and the polar bear helped them- 
selves from the abundant feast of eggs and young prepared by the 
water-birds along the Labrador coast. Little or no harm was done. 
The multitude of birds could well spare these moderate contribu- 
tions. There were a few less mouths to be filled, but this natural 
pruning had little effect on the birds as a whole. During the nine- 
teenth century, however, the drain on these wonderful nurseries of 
bird-life was fearful, and now but a pittance of the mighty host 
remains." (Townsend.) 

Stringent legislation should be enacted to prevent the wanton de- 
struction of bird-life on the coast; and such is being put into effect 
on Canadian Labrador with good effect. On Newfoundland-Labra- 
dor, however, there seems to be no let or hindrance to the destruc- 
tive tendencies of mankind. As Kipling says : 

"There's never a law of God or man runs 
North of fifty-three." 


It is perfectly natural that the fishermen should consider the eggs 
and young, and even the breeding parents, as a godsend to eke out 
their scanty larder. Knowing every rock, as they do, along the 
entire coast, they can easily keep in touch with the birds and rob 
them of their treasures. At Windsor Harbor I saw six young great 
black guillemots cooped in an ancient wreck, for the purpose of fat- 
tening for the pan. Unless some penalty be imposed one cannot 
expect a fisherman to pass by a nest of eider-duck's eggs, or even 
leave the fat mother unmolested if he can shoot her. Young or 
moulting ducks are easily caught and make very good eating, and 
are no doubt a delightful change from the usual course of fish. One 
of the Moravian brethren spoke to me with great gusto of the de- 
lights of an omelet made of eider's eggs. (So fishermen are not the 
only sinners.) "The Esquimaux procure," he said, "from two to 
three hundred eggs of all kinds for them every spring." When I 
asked if he had noticed any diminution in the number of birds, he 
replied that he had not. My companion remarked to me sotto voce : 
"He'll never miss the water, 'til the well runs dry." (Townsend: 
op. cit.) 

The Eider (Soniateria dresseri) is still found 
EIDER DUCK, plentifully on the eastern and northern sections 
of the Labrador coast ; but on the southern sec- 
tion it is not found abundantly, as the fishermen have been indis- 
criminate in their slaughter of what is a valuable asset. "They are 
actually killing the goose that lays the golden egg.'' In Norway 
and Iceland, the eider, instead of being slain, is oflfered every pro- 
tection and encouragement, for the sake of its eggs and for the 
down which the female plucks from its breast as a covering for the 
eggs. The people are not allowed even to fire oflf guns near its 
haunts, and in some localities meeting-places are contrived for its 
acconunodation. As a consequence, the bird becomes very tame, and 
the eggs and down, which are taken under intelligent oversight, are 
the source of considerable profit, without causing any diminution in 
the stock of birds. If the people of Labrador could be made to 
understand this, a new industry would arise, and the American 
eider, instead of being a vanishing race, would again populate the 
numerous islands along the southern coasts of the peninsula." 



The Pied, or Labrador Duck {Coniptolaiuuts labt'adorius), no 
longer exists on the coast : and it is said that it became extinct some 
twentv-five rears asro. 


This variety {.-litas obscitra, Gmel) is not 
common on the coast ; but it is sometimes 
found in HamiUon Inlet and near Domino 

The King- Eider {Somateria speetabilis) is also 

KING EIDER, rare; but is reported by Townsend, 1907. The 

Greenland Eider (Somateria borealis) is found 

abundantly in the northern sections. Dr. Townsend reports 


("Along the Labrador Coast") the following long list for one after- 
noon, in the neighborhood of Multa : "This afternoon we count 
some forty razor-bill auks, or tinkers, their little black wings moving 
with great rapidity, and besides these, twelve of the large loons, three 
red-throated loons, one hundred and sixty-five black guillemots, 
four glaucous gulls, one great black-headed gull, six herring gulls, 
one hundred and two kittiwakes, two Pomarine jaegers, thirty-two 
Greenland eider-duck, one king eider, and sixty white-winged 

The Diver (Urinator lumme) is found plentifully; and occasion- 
ally north of Domino I have seen thousands. It is known locally 
as the "Wabby." 


Puffins, or, as they are called in the Strait of 
THE PUEEIN. Belle Isle, "Paroqucets," {Fratcrcula arctica), 
abound in the vicinity of Paroqueet Island, on 
the cast side of Bradorc Pjay. Tiicy arc found here in myriads; and 
they were seemingly as plentiful at the time of Cartier's first voy- 
age, as he named the island "Isle aux Oiscaux." They are found 
abundantly along the cast coast; but "Paroqueet Island" seems to be 
their favorite haunt. Puffins arc remarkable specimens of the feath- 
ered tribe, both in shape and other characteristics. They burrow 
in the soft red sand-stone of "Paroqueet Island," like rabbits. Car- 
tier mentions this characteristic. They have large red bills, and 
grey eye-rings, and the dark band around the neck gives them a 
singular appearance. I have seen thousands along the shore of the 
island; and so tame, that fishermen make dreadful havoc among 
them. Puffins are not very desirable birds to take on board the 
fishermen's boats, as they arc usually swarming with vermin. 

The Murr (Uria lumvia) belongs to the same group as the puf- 
fin, and is found plentifully everywhere along the south and east 
coasts. It is somewhat smaller than the puffin, and not so repulsive 
in its habits. 

This is the local name for the Guillemot {Cephus 
THE TURR. g^yll^), and it occurs plentifully in all the eastern 
bays and "bights" along the coast. It is some- 
times called "salt-water pigeon," and this name was doubtlessly 
suggested by its peculiar habit of bobbing its head in dabbling at the 
water, as the pigeon bobs its head in walking. (Townsend.) 

"Murrs and Turrs" are always associated with the fall "gun- 

The Sheldrake is apparently what is lo- 
THE SHELDRAKE, cally known by fishermen as the "shell- 
bird," and it is found very abundantly 
both on the east and the northern coasts of the peninsula. 

The Sea-dove or Dovekie {AUe alle, Linn) 
THE DOVEKIE. is seen at all points of the coast. It is known 
to fishermen as "bull-bird." 


The Plover (Aegitialitis semipalmata, Caban) 
THE PLOVER, is found along the strands on the south and 
cast coasts. It is locally known as "beach* 

The name of this family is legion both on the coast of 

GULLS. Newfoundland and on Labrador. Nearly every head- 
land has its "Gull Island," and every settlement a "Gull 

The Ivory Gull {Pagophila alba), locally known as "Ice-Par- 
tridge," is found in the northern sections, and is always suggestive of 
the ice-floe. During the sealing voyage it frequents the "pans," and 
sealers capture it by laying a "gly" or bait on the ice. It is very 
voracious when seeking food, and it is said that many birds are 
killed by contact with the ice in their eagerness to secure the "gly." 

The Burgomaster, or Arctic Gull {laurus glaucus), is found 
abundantly in the eastern bays of the coast ; and in Blackguard and 
Kaipolok Bays. I have seen thousands during the month of Sep- 
tember. The Herring Gull {Laurus argcntatus suiithsonius) is also 
abundant, especially during the latter part of July and the early part 
of August. Its presence is, so fishermen tell me, an indication that 
bait is in the neighborhood, usually herring or caplin. 

The Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) is known to fishermen as 
"Tickelelse" ("Ticklers"). The name is said to be derived from 
the fact that these birds are found around the shore and in the 
mouths of harbors and "tickles." I am not sure that this is the cor- 
rect origin ; but it is given as such. 

"Tinker" is the name by which the Razor-hiU 

THE TINKER, auk is known to fishermen. It resembles the 

puffin, but is somewhat larger. It sits bolt 

upright on the rocks, and in the water has a habit of cocking its tail. 

It is found in the Straits of Belle Isle and on southern Labrador, 

especially Lewis' Bay. 

"Hagdons," the name by which the Shearzvater 
HAGDONS. {Puffinus Gravis) is known, are found plentifully 
along the southern coast of Labrador ; and fisher- 
men consider them harbingers of "bad" weather. 


Townsend says in connection with his trip to the coast : "The 
flock of hagdons (in Lewis' Bay) extends for several miles, and we 
venture to estimate the numbers at five thousand. It is but an esti- 
mate, and I am inclined to think an underestimate. In this vast 
throng, continually rising and skimming out to sea, only three 
'sooty' shearwaters can be seen. All the rest are 'greater' shear- 
waters. The three look as black as crows in comparison with their 
white and grey relatives." 

These shearwaters are interesting birds, and it is only of com- 
paratively recent years that they have been understood. Although 
July is our midsummer, it is with them midwinter, but not of "their 
discontent," if one may judge by their graceful, happy flight. They 
breed in the southern hemisphere, near the antarctic regions, and 
come north across the equator to spend their winter-summer with 
rs. Somewhat smaller than the herring-i::ull, their tapering, cigar- 
shaped b(Klies. long and narrow, clipper-built wings give them grace 
and speed that cannot be attained by gulls. With outstretched and 
almost motionless wings, slightly decurved, they glide over waves, 
following them so closely that one momentarily expects to see the 
birds disappear in the foam. All their motions on the wing are 
graceful in the extreme. In former times when bait was scarce, 
fishermen used to catch them with a hook as they crowded about 
their boats, strip off their skins, and chop them into small pieces. 
They are good eating when skinned, and free from fat. The land 
birds of Labrador are not numerous ; but the hunter may find suffi- 
cient variety to tempt him to the wilds. 

Two varieties of Grouse are reported from the coast, 
GROUSE, the "Canada" Grouse {Dendragapns Canadensis, 
Linn) and the "Ruffed" Grouse (Bonasa iimhelhis 
togata, Linn). 

The former, which is also known as "Spruce Partridge," is very 
abundant ; and it is found throughout the wooded district and in the 
semi-barrens. Hind ("Explorations") reports grouse as very abun- 
dant in the western sections of the peninsula, and wonderfully tame. 
He says : "^^'llen we came upon a covey we gave it a sudden start, 
which made the birds fly up into the surrounding trees. A rod was 
then cut, to the end of which was fastened a noose. This was held 


up close in front of the nearest bird, which generally darted its head 
into the noose ; but if it did not do so, then the noose was passed 
over the head, and by a sudden jerk the bird was brought to the 
ground. In this way we went from one bird to another, and usually 
secured all we saw that were in reach. Sometimes they are killed 
with stones, and it is wonderful to see how tenaciously a bird will 
sit, however near the stone will whiz past it, until it receives such a 
blow as will knock it over." 

The "Ruffed" variety occurs plentifully from the Straits of Belle 
Isle to Hamilton Inlet, especially where there is a large birch growth. 
It is known to settlers as "French Hen," or "Birch Partridge." 

Two varieties of the Ptarmigan (Termagint) 
PTARMIGAN, are found— the "Willow" (Lagopus lagopiis, 

Linn) and the "Rock" {Lagopus rupcstris 
Gu.) The former is exceedingly abundant in the North — the latter 
is found plentifully on the treeless areas ; and Packard reports that 
1,100 were killed by one family during the winter of 1863 i" the 
Straits of Belle Isle. 

The bird which has always been regarded as the 
CURLEW, special game bird of the coast of Labrador — the deli- 
cious Ciirleiv {Nwncnius horealis) is now rarely 
seen. Some years ago curlews were found in myriads, espe- 
cially on the southern and middle sections of Labrador; but 
within recent }ears they are "few and far between." I was 
told by a fisherman at Independent, in 1893, that some years 
previously "curlews were like chicken in the neighborhood ; they 
used to come and feed around the house. A man named Adams on 
one occasion shot sixty in two 'draws.' " The author quoted above 
(Packard) says: "On the loth of August, i860, we saw a flock of 
curlew which may have been a mile long and nearly as broad; there 
must have been in that flock four or five thousand. The sum total 
of their notes sounded at times like the wind whistling through the 
ropes of a thousand-ton vessel ; at others, the sound seemed like the 
jingling of sleigh bells." 

In 1893 I shot forty one afternoon near "Splitting-knife," north 
of Indian Harbor. 


Fishermen tell me that now "you can't get a taste of curlew 
anywhere." A recent visitor to the coast says : "The stories of 
their former abundance I learned from fishermen along the coast. 
. . . They told me that they always kept their guns loaded at 
the fishing-stages, and shot into the great flocks as they wheeled 
by, bringing down many a fat bird. About fifteen years ago they 
diminished in numbers, and now perhaps a dozen or two, perhaps 
none at all, are seen in a season. The tale is soon told ; the places 
that knew them once in countless multitudes shall know them no 

"Curiously enough, the fishermen do not attribute the decrease 
of this splendid bird to the wholesale slaughter along the coast. 
They are all imbued with the idea that the curlew troubled the far- 
mers' cornfields in the States, and hence were poisoned. . . . 
It has been suggested that the sudden falling ofif of these curlews 
may have been because they were overwhelmed by a storm in their 
long ocean trip south — some three thousand miles from Labrador 
to the Antilles. It is certain, however, that incessant persecution 
has had something to do with their diminution." (Townsend.) 

It seems that the "Great Auk" {Alca 
THE GREAT AUK. impennis), or Garc-foicl, once frequented 

the coast of Labrador. It certainly in- 
habited the "Funk Islands," and other islets along the north coast of 
Newfoundland centuries ago. In Cartwright's "Journal" we find 
this record : "We were about four leagues from Groais Islands, 
when w^e saw a snon' (vessel) sailing in for Croque. During a 
calm, in the afternoon, Shuglawina went off in his kyak, in pursuit 
of a penguin (the "Great Auk" was formerly known by this name). 
He presently came within a proper distance of the bird, and stuck 
his dart into it ; but as the weapon did not enter a mortal part, the 
penguin swam and dived so well that he would have lost both the 
bird and the dart, had he not driven it near enough the vessel for 
us to shoot it." 

The last specimens of the Great Auk caught near the "Funks" 
came into the possession of the late Bishop Field (of Newfound- 
land), who forwarded one to Agassiz, the American Naturalist, 
another to Professor Newton, of Cambridge, and the third uiti- 



niately reached the British Museum, where there is but one other 
specimen, brought from the Orkneys, in 1812. 

''Numerous bones of the great auk have been found on the Funk 
Islands, and a careful search might discover many perfect skeletons." 

"The Great Auk was larger than a goose. Its wings were very 
small, and not constituted for flight, but were admirable paddles in 
the water, enabling the bird to move about more swiftly even than 
the loon. The legs were extremely short, but powerful, and placed 
so much posteriorly that, in resting on the rocks, the birds assumed 
an upright attitude, the whole of the legs and toes being applied 
to the surface. It was a native of the northern hemisphere, the 
penguin being its relation in the southern. The causes of its ex- 
termination are not difficult to discover. Its short wings and pe- 
culiar conformation rendered it helpless on land, while its flesh and 
feathers were so valuable as to invite man's rapacity. There were 
few suitable breeding places, and when these were invaded it could 
not flv elsewhere, and had no choice but to die." (Townsen-I.) 


'Tt must have been a curious sight, two hundred years ago, to 
see these wild desolate islands of the north, their coasts literally 
swarming with these strange birds, as they waddled slowly about in 
an erect position, with their broad webbed feet and short wings, 
resembling the flippers of a seal. They were the connecting link 
between the fish and the bird, partaking of the nature of both. 
. . . Not only were the crews of fishing-vessels of those days in 
the habit of consuming vast quantities of these birds afresh, but they 
were accustomed to salt down tons of them for future use. The 
merchants of Bonavista and other places were in the habit of salting 



and 'tolling them, in the winter season, instead of pork, to the fisher- 
n^en. . . . It is not wonderful that, under such circumstances, 
the Great Auk has been completely exterminated and must now be 
reckoned, like the Dodo, among die things 'that have been.' " (Har- 
vev, "Newfoundland.") 




"Where like snow the gannet's feathers 

On Bradore's rocks are shed 
And the noisy murr are flying, 

Like black scuds overhead." 

Whittier, "The Fishermen." 

Newfoundland fishermen occasionally make incursions into Ca- 
nadian territory, and sometimes "runs the gantlet" by escaping the 
payment of licenses. Some venturesome early birds go to Harring- 
ton and the Mecatina Islands {vidgo: "The Mecadines") before the 
Canadian cruisers reach the coast, and secure good fares ; but those 
who fish in Canadian waters at a later date invariably conform to 
regulations of the Dominion. 

Several Newfoundland Planters have "rooms" on Canadian terri- 
tory ; and these, of course, are obliged to pay duties on all supplies 
brought from home. To obviate this handicap, however, nearly all 
requisites for the fishing industry are nowadays purchased in 

The westernmost location of New- 
BONNE ESPERANCE. foundlanders is Bonne Esperance, sit- 
uated at the mouth of the Esquimaux 
River. Here the ^Messrs. \\'hitely. of St. John's, conducts a large fish- 
ing business. Whitely's "room" is located on historically interesting 
territory, as here, in early days, occurred many bloody encounters 
between the Esquimaux and the Montagnais Indians, who finally 
became masters of the situation. 

The last Esquimau seen in these parts was an old lady familiarly 
known as "^Mother Goddard," who died at Esquimaux Point, in 
1879. This good dame was a full-blooded specimen ; and it is said 
that she could handle a gun and kill seals as readily as any "white" 
of the sterner sex. 



Bonne Esperance is still visited by small bands of the nomadic 
Montap^nais ; and 1 once visited their encami^ment. It was from 
the chief of this band that I acquired so nian\- interestinj^ data con- 
cerning the habits and mode of life of these "children of the wild." 

Another large fishing establishment is located 
SALMON PiAV. about three miles to the eastward of Bonne 

lispcrancc; it is called Salmon Bay locally; 
but it is really a portion of Bay St. Paul. This entire section origi- 
nally formed part of the scii^ncnric of Sieur .Xmador Godefroy de 


Saint Paul, which consisted of five leagues of territory on each side 
of the Esqninianx Rkcr. This concession was granted by the King 
of France to the scigncitr dc Saint Paul for the purpose "of fishing 
for cod, whales, seals, porpoises, and others." We still find a re- 
minder of this ancient grant in the settlement of "Five Leagues," 
which lies about four miles to the eastward of Caribou Island. 

The "room" at Salmon Bay is owned by the firm of Job Brothers, 
of St. John's, and is one of best equipped establishments ofi the 
coast. Some years ago a large Fertilizer Plant was erected within 
the precincts of the "room" ; but financial disaster, due, it is said, to 
incompetent management, caused its suspension after two or three 
years' operation. 

From Salmon Bay eastward mv first missionarv tour was made 


in a yacht which the genial Captain Bhmdford had helped to outfit. 
As I was unacquainted with the shoals and reefs of the Straits, I 
secured the services of an old Frenchman, as pilot, whose knowledge 
of English was limited to sundry "cuss words," but whose knowl- 
edge of the navigation of the Straits was declared to be la meilleure 
possible. This, unfortunately, as I subsequently learned to my cost, 
was also very imperfect. Pierre's dominant accomplishments were 
his relentless persecution of our little cook, Barney, and his weak- 
ness for "whisky blanc," of which he surreptitiously obtained a 
plentiful supply at our various stopping-places along the coast. 
Pierre was extremely devout when he had imbibed freely, and when 
it was stormv. 


Our objective point, after leaving Salmon 
BELLES A:\10LTRS. Bay, was Belles Amours (the local fish- 
ermen term it Belsey More), about eight 
miles to the eastward. After spending the greater part of a very 
pleasant morning in the exploration of "Old Fort Island," we reached 
our destination just as the sun went down; but we had barely 
moored our little craft when a dense fog came in from the south- 
east, and with it an immense "jam" of floe-ice. 

This sudden oncoming of floe-ice is a singular phenomenon ; and 
it disappears as rapidly as it comes. Fishermen hereabouts declare 


that the ice "sinks." Be this as it may, I have seen the Straits 
almost entirely covered with ice at sundown ; and on the morning 
following not a pan was visible. Large quantities of silt (fishermen 
call it grout) and small boulders are sometimes seen on these floes in 
early spring; and this possibly suggests the sinking theory. The 
movement of the floe is very rapid ; and I once had an experience in 
this line such as I would not wish to have duplicated. I was return- 
ing one Sunday from Bradore in a seine-boat, and after rounding 
Long Point we were "nipped" between the floe and a "growler." 
We had a very narrow escape ; and the skiff was out of commis- 
sion for several days. 

In the vicinity of Belles Amours the coast is rough and precipi- 
tous. Some miles inland, to the northeast, the Laurentian Chain, 
capped by the Buttes of Bradore, rises to a height of nearly fifteen 
hundred feet. At the head of the harbor there is a small glacis, in 
which is located a substantial fishing-room, owned by the Buckle 
family, who have been here for generations. 

Snow still lingered in the ravines ; but there were signs of vegeta- 
tion. Notwithstanding the rigors of the climate, vegetables are suc- 
cessfully cultivated, and the marshes produce quantities of proven- 
der which might, I fancy, be profitably utilized. 

The one and only cow on the coast was seen here. 

In the rear of the settlement is a magnificent "waterfall," and be- 
yond there are innumerable pools abounding in speckled beauties. 

We had not time to ply the rod, and, after a two-days' sojourn, 
we were released from the ice-prison and started for Greenly Island, 
which lies a few miles to the south-east. 

Greenly Island (Isle Verte) is made up 
GREENLY ISLAND, of two hillocks joined by a plateau, on 

either side of which is a cove. Both 
coves are frequented by fishermen from Newfoundland. 

In the roadstead, on the east side, we found nearly a hundred 
schooners of every conceivable type and class. There were nu- 
merous old "hookers" (man-traps), western-boats, ancient fore-and- 
afters, and some trim two-topmast schooners from Bonavista Bay. 
We anchored close aboard of one of these schooners ; and next morn- 
ing I began the visitation of the fleet. I first visited the schooner 


, belonging to Newton, Bonavista Bay, and inquired for 

the "Skipper." "He's aft, sir," was the answer to my inquiry. I 
went aft, and was accosted most respectfully by a hale specimen of 
manhood, in shirt-sleeves, apparently not more than twenty years 
old. "I am the Skipper, sir; won't you come down below and have 

some dinner?" This was the well-known Captain , whose 

success as a fisherman and sailor has been phenomenal. The Cap- 
tain informed me he had secured a "load," and would leave for 
home in the morning; and would likely "go to Chidley for a second 

Presumably, the cheap scribblers who write such rubbish about 
Labrador and the fishers, never come in contact with such types as 

Greenly has the reputation of being an uncanny place ; and it has 
often been visited by dreadful storms. A storm, in 1847, wrecked 
thirty-five vessels; and within recent years there have been serious 
losses. There is no harbor within reach, and the oncoming of a 
breeze is always a source of anxiety. 

Directly north of Greenly is Paroqueet Island (Isle aux Oiseaux 
of the early navigators), where Cartier found "crows with red 
beaks, and red feet, which make their nests in holes under the 
ground like conies." These were Puffins, and they are seemingly 
as plentiful to-day as when the Breton mariner hoisted over the 
island the drapeau of the King of France. A few cables' length 
from Paroqueet Island is the site of the ancient town of Brest, de- 
scribed in a former chapter. 

One mile and a half east of Paroqueet lies 
LONG POINT. Long Point, which forms the northwestern 

entrance to the Straits of Belle Isle. The set- 
tlement is located on the outer rim of a sandy beach, which is 
fringed by a stunted growth of alders and willows. In early days 
the ridge northeast of the settlement was covered with large timber ; 
but this has long since disappeared. 

Long Point was at one time a large fishing-post; and a planter 
named Hamilton, of New Carlisle, carried on an extensive trade 
with the settlers. To-day it is a tumble-down creek whose only 
occupants are a few French families, presumably descendants of the 


old colons. At a short distance from the settlement there is a small 
Mission Church, which is now attended by the Eudist Fathers from 
Tabaticrc. Formerly a missionary resided at Uanse des dunes 
(anglicized, Linscy Din), and a school was maintained by some 
benevolent French-Canadian. I am not aware that the settlers have 
now any such educational advantages as their near neighbors at 
I'.arrachois, on the other side of the boundary-line, enjoy. 

A short distance east of Long Point there 
STONE'S GULCH, is a singular creek, known as "Stone's 
Gulch." The "Gulch," which gets its name 
from a Catalina fisherman (Joseph Stone), is one of the many 
geological curiosities found on the Labrador Coast. It is presumably 
a huge furrow hollowed out of the gneiss rock by a glacier; and 
the evidences of the Titanic forces which gouged it out are indelibly 
fixed on its polished sides. The creek is barely large enough to 
accommodate one fishing schooner. 

Close by the "Gulch" is a little headland known as "Lazy Point." 
This appellation is evidently a euphuism, as the French nomen- 
clature suggests an insect of a very democratic nature, which i? 
familiar to many who, like myself, have occupied a "bunk" in one 
of the houses or have done missionary work in the Straits of Belle 
Isle. The French name is "Point a Poii." 

After a two weeks' tour in the west we 
BLANC SABLON. reached Blanc Sablon towards dusk, and 

everybody was busy. "Carteel-boats" (fish- 
barges) were arriving hourly, laden to the gunwales with fish from 
Greenly Island. Fish had "struck in" that morning; and seines 
were reaping an abundant harvest. Next morning I visited my little 
flock at Barrachois — tlic little French settlement "across the river." 
This "river," by the way, was a little dribbling brook about two 
yards wide. Everything in the fomi of a stream is termed a river 
by these northern folk. During my absence la grippe had wrought 
havoc amongst the population ; and many of the older members 
were loud in their denunciation of the ctrangcrs (the Newfoundland 
fishermen) who had brought this affliction upon them. I had great 
difficulty with one old lady, who almost became insane through her 



antipathy towards tlic proprietor of the "room," whom she termed 
"tm enfant dn diablc"— not a very flattering epithet, surely. 

The Barrachois folk have always regarded the Newfoundland 
fishermen as intruders upon their territory ; and perhaps they are, as 
some of these Barrachois families are descendants of the settlers of 
the old regime. Previous to the invasion by the Newfoundlanders, 
the people of Barrachois were not hampered by customs and other 
restrictions : and the trader furnished them with all manner of 


things from Quebec. Since the establishment of a revenue officer at 
Blanc Sablon the Canadian supplies are dutiable. This, of course, is 
a serious matter for the habitant; and hence his undisguised an- 
tagonism to Messieurs les Terreneuvicns. 

Some venturesome Barrachovians do business at Bradore, and 
make nocturnal trips across the dunes to the Canadian stores. 

After the epidemic of grippe had subsided I began the visitation 
of the eastern section of the Straits ; and my first stopping-place 
was Isle an Bois (Woody Island). This island is of peculiar shape, 
and has an elevation of 170 feet. For what reason this island re- 
ceived its name I have not been able to ascertain. There is hardly a 
shrub to be seen there ; the vegetation is of the rankest kind. A 
fisherman once told me that the island was so barren that one 


'couldn't cut a thole pin for a rodney." This is a fisherman's ex- 
pression for things diminutive. The island has a large fishing estab- 
lishment, formerly owned by a Jersey merchant, but now in the 
occupancy of the Messrs. Penney, of Carbonear. The "room" is in 
reality a settlement, and is one of the largest and best-equipped con- 
cerns on the coast. 

My parishioners on the island were not "at home" at the time of 
my visit ; they had gone on "a cruise" to Quebec — the Mecca of all 
good Canadians. 

During my visit I saw some very curious specimens of fishermen's 
letters. Evidently the writers believed in phonetic spelling. Some 
of them were very extraordinary ; but as my portfolio of curious 
things met a fate similar to Carlyle's "French Revolution" some 
years ago, the "gems" have disappeared. 

One letter was addressed : 


Eily By 


Another was somewhat l)c'Uer; it ran: 


Oily Boy 

There were others still more curiously addressed ; and the Isle 
ail Bois seems to present to Newfoundlanders orthographic difficul- 
ties similar to those which Aix la Chapclle offers to the average 

Notwithstanding this primitive orthography, the mail-clerk on the 
Labrador steamer seems able to locate the owner of the letter. Some 
years ago a letter was received at one of Newfoundland post-ofifices 
addressed : 

Mr. James — • 


Saint John's. 

This letter was duly delivered to a policeman — the rightful ad- 
dressee — at the police barracks, Fort Tozvnsend. 



En route to L'anse a loup there are several settlements, some of 
them of consideralile importance. 

Nearest to Isle an Bois is L'anse Eclair (St. 
L'ANSE ECLAIR. Clair Bay), situated about four miles west 

of Eorteau Point. This creek is surrounded 
b}- one of the most singular formations which I have ever seen. The 
sea-wall — for such it is — consists of Cyclopean slabs of rock set with 
almost geometric regularitx^ on a granitic foundation. Nomenclatur- 
ists are not agreed as to the origin of the name of the settlement ; 
but I am under the impression that the name is derived from the 
clear water found there. Hence the correct name would be L'anse 
a ['can cclairc. Xear this creek is Sqnare Cove, so called from its 
shape. This, too, has a Cyclopean aspect. It was here that the 
Elder-Dempster liner Mariposa stranded some years ago, whilst en 
route to Liverpool from }iIontreal. 


Fortcan Bay lies four miles to the eastward of 
FORTEAU. L'anse eclair, and is regarded as the best roadstead 

in the Straits of Belle Isle. The name Fortcan 
originated with the old French navigators, and it was doubtless sug- 
gested by the strong tides found in this neighborhood. These tides 
are very irregular, occasionally running in one direction at the rate 


of five knots close to the shore, and in an opposite direction a short 
distance off. Sometimes three distinct streams are met within a 
distance of two miles ; and the tide "rips" are of considerable 

The bay is four miles wide ; and on both sides the land rises in 
terraces to hills nearly six hundred feet high. At the head of the 
bay there is a splendid sandy beach, behind which the settlement is 
located. This settlement was established by French fishermen at a 
very early date ; but its commercial importance dates only from the 
foundation of the Jersey firm of De Quettville, in 1795. In the 
northeast corner of the bay, close by English Point, is a neat Angli- 
can Church — the oldest on the Labrador coast. It was built in 1850, 
by the Reverend Algernon Gififord. Adjoining the Church is a little 
graveyard, which has many quaint and interesting inscriptions upon 
the rude memorials which mark the last resting-place of many 
hardy toilers of the deep. 

At the southeast point of the bay there is a "bight" known as 
L'anse aitx marts, so called, possibly, on account of the many wrecks 
which have occurred in the neighborhood. This "bight" is directly 
northward of Pointc aux iiioi'ts (improperly named by English 
cartogra])hcrs. Armour Point). In close proximity to the cape is a 
singularly shaped ])rom()ntor\-. known as the "Shallop" (a corrup- 
tion of tl'.e French word cliahitpc), owing to its resemblance to a 
boat under sail. "Getting round the Shallop" is a very well-known 
expression amongst fishermen who frequent the Straits; and it is 
sometimes a very hazardous job. as the tides are very rapid and 
erratic in their ebb and flow. In foggy weather navigation is very 
difficult ; and not many years ago an English warship, "The Lily." 
was lost at Armour Point. 

Forteau is very picturesque, and it has some splendid attractions 
for the Waltonian. Forteau Brook has been for many years the 
favorite fishing resort for the officers of H. 'M. warships. There 
are several salmon pools within easy reach of the head of the har- 
bor. It has been asserted by certain historians that "the last battle 
between the warlike Esquimaux and the ]\Iontagnais Indians was 
fought in the neighborhood of Forteau." The only evidence adduced 
in proof of this assertion is the "finding here some years ago of a 
huge mound of human bones." Here, possibly, was fought one of 



many battles wiiich occurred between these tribes; but it is prac- 
tically certain that the last battle between them was fought at Battle 

We had some difficulty negotiatins' the "Shallop" en route to 
L'aiisc a loiip, and wc arrived at our destination in the face of a 
terrific storm. We received a kindly welcome from Mr. W^atson, 
tlie agent of the "room," and soon forgot the terrors of the gale. 

The "room" is located at Schooner Cove. This is a very old estab- 
lishment, and was originally operated by Jerseymen. It is now 
owned and operated by Job I brothers, of St. John's. 


The bay in which L'aiise a hup is situated 
L'ANSE A LOUP, is about one and a cpiarter miles wide, and 
one and a half miles deep. On either side 
are high table-lands of sandstone, covered with moss and rank vege- 
tation. The settlement is located at the bottom, fronted by a fine 
sandy beach. A large river, which is navigable for some distance, 
lies a little to the northeast of the little cluster of houses which 
constitute the settlement. 

Here I found cpiite a number of parishioners ; and here, too, I 
made my first acquaintance with the malodorous insect of the genus 
Cimex, whose unattractive form and habits need no description. I 
also had some members of my parish at the Light-house at Armour 
Point, whom I visited on several occasions. 


After a Sunday at L'ansc a loup we 
L'ANSE AU DIABLE. started for L'anse an Diable {viilgo 

"Nancey Jawble") : it is well named. 
Whether his Satanic Majesty had anything to do with giving it the 
name, history saycth not; but it is an uncanny place. Some mis- 
sionary lias termed it "a colony of bugs, dirt, and desolation." The 
settlement lies in a little glacis, under the shadow of the "Battery" — 
the singular red-sandstone formation which is not unlike the Pali- 
sades of the Hudson. There were only two parishioners in this sec- 
tion ; but circumstances necessitated a sojourn of two days, amid 
surroundings which were in nowise attractive. 

An hour's run from L'anse an Diable brought us 
PINnVARE. to JVest St. Modesie ("The Tickle"), which lies 
at the western entrance to Pinware Bay. "The 
Tickle" is a small channel which lies between a small bare island and 
the mainland. It is frequented by fishermen from Carbonear; and 
is a rendezvous for Canadian traders. This is a unique little settle- 
ment ; and its people are very enterprising. Some years ago I saw 
here some splendid specimens of hand-made carpet, the best I have 
ever seen. The designs were most artistic ; and one could hardly 
believe that such splendid articles w^ere made from "pound-cotton," 
and colored with "Diamond dyes." 

Pinzvarc is two miles north of the "Tickle," near Ship Head, and 
is one of the most populous settlements in the Straits. It possesses 
a neat Catholic Church, a [Mission Residence, and a school. It has 
no resident priest, but is visited, during the summer months, by a 
priest from Plarbor Grace, and during the winter it is attended by 
a Eudist Father from Tahaticre or Long Point. Here is found the 
finest "Strand" on the coast of Labrador. It is nearly two miles in 
length, and consists of a beautiful sea-margin of gray sand, fringed 
with a luxuriant growth of wild pea (Lathynts paluster) and vetch 
(Astralagus alpi)ius). At the eastern extremity of the "Strand" is 
a large salmon-post, which has been in the occupancy of the same 
family for half a century. Game is abundant in the rear of the set- 
tlement ; and Pimcare River is teeming with salmon. This river is 
navigable for some distance ; the pinnace of li. M. S. Charyhdis 
entered it, in 1904, and found eight feet of water for the first mile, 
after which the water shoaletl and became rapid. 


Several explanations of the name Piiiu'arc are offered by nomcn- 
claturists ; one writer derives it from Pied Noir. The word is, I 
think, simply a corruption of Baie Noire (Black Bay). Everybody 
who is conversant with habitant French knows that the termina- 
tion oir is pronounced ere. Soir, c. s;'., is invariably rendered as if 
written Sivarc, in English. Hence the transition from Baie Noire 
to Pinware, to me, at least, is easv. 

Some of the most delightful days I have ever spent were passed 
at this little settlement : and I can never forg-et the kindness of its 

Two islands lying at the southeastern point of Pin- 
SEMEDIT. ware Bay arc known locally as Semedit. presumably 

another ( iallic rendering of Saint Modeste. Thev 
are named Snni medit on the maps of the old French navigators. 
The islands are now set down as A^elly Island and Lily Island, 
named after the daughters of a pioneer English settler. These 
islands are low and bare, and olifer no shelter to vessels coasting in 
the Straits. They were formerly important fishing places, but are 
now rarely visited except by "jack" fishermen. 

Carrol Core, which lies about five miles to 
CARROL CO\'E. the eastward of Semedit, was also presum- 
ably a French settlement in former day^. It 

is said that the name is an anglicized form of the French Oiierelle. 

and it derived its appellation from an incident which occurred there 

during the old regime. This seems somewhat far-fetched : but si 

non e ver e hen troz'ato. 

Carrol Cove has a population of about fifty people, who eke out 

an existence by salmon-fishing. 

We had several duties to perform here ; and were detained two 


We then left, under rather unfavorable weather 
RED BAY. conditions for Red Bay. We had hardly cleared 

the southeast point of the cove when a dense fog 
enveloped us. It was impossible to put back, and we made ready for 
a "bad time." 


After battlinj::^ with the elements for nearly three hours my pilot, 
whose acquaintance with the navigation of the Straits was la uicil- 
Icnre possible, informed me that he had lost his "bearings" (not only 
his nautical "bearings," but his physical "bearings" as well; he was 
hors de combat with grog). Mere was a most awkward predica- 
ment, as a very heavy sea was running, night was fast approaching; 
and the wind "she blow lak hurrican' ; bimeby she blow some more." 
Aided by our little cook, I managed to "stitch a reef in the main- 
sail" and we headed for the land. Suddenly an immense comber 
boarded us amidships, drenching us "to the skin, and filling the cabin. 
This aroused M. Pierre from his lethargic condition (he had had a 
bad dousing wnth salt water), and his first utterance was a scream, 
followed by a vociferous ejaculation : Man Dicit. Man Dick; nous 
soudiics pcrdiis! Just then the fog lifted, and we sighted the lan- 
tern light on Saddle Island ; we were soon at anchor near Penney's 
"room" at Red Bay. 

This is a safe, commodious harbor, consisting of two inlets, one of 
which is known as the "Basin." 

Red Bay derives its name from the red syenitic hills which sur- 
round it, one of which, known as "Tracy Hill," which overlooks the 
entrance, being 600 feet high. On the eastern side there is a conical 
formation on whose summit there are several conspicuous boulders. 

The settlement is located at the eastern side of the harbor, and 
consists of twenty-five or thirty houses. A neat Methodist Church 
is situated on the crest of the hill : and nearby are the parsonage and 
a school. Here also is a "Co-operative store" conducted under the 
auspices of the INI. D. S. F. 

Within the "Basin" there is another village — the winter quarters 
of the resident population. It is situated at the foot of a wooded 
mountain, which protects it from the chill northern blasts, and is very 

Our sojourn at Red Bay was brief, as there were no members of 
my parish amongst the fisher folk : and in the early morning, as soon 
as we had effected repairs to our little craft (we had sustained con- 
siderable damage in the storm of the previous evening) we started 
on the "long run" to Chateau, some twenty miles to the eastward. 
The coast-line in this section is indented by several bays — Black 
Bay, Fry's Cove, Barge Bay and Wreck Bay ; but there are no set- 


tlements. A few fishing tilts are found in the bays, which are mere 
"shelters'" for trap-crews during the fishing season. The land in 
tliis vicinity is of grim, forbidding aspect, of reddish hue ; and the 
formation is chiefly syenitic. 

W*? nad a splendid run to ]'ork Point, the western entrance to 
Chateau Bay: and here "every prospect pleases." Away to the south- 
east lav Belle Isle, its base wreathed in the morning mist ; eastward 
was the "Devil's Dining Table," and beyond was the open sea 
"fresh as the trickling rainbow of July." 

Noon found us in Chateau Bay — the noblest 

CHATEAU BAY. fiord on southern Labrador. It was here 
that Cartier first set foot on the shores of 
La XoHZ'elle France, in 1534; and here were enacted some of the 
most stirring scenes in the history of the fisher's land. Chateau 
Bay has within its borders the settlements of Chateau, Henley, 
Pitt's Ami and Antelope Tickle, all of which are reminiscent of the 
doughty deeds of "makers of empire." 

The settlement of Chateau, which was founded by Cartier. in 
1534, and later became the home of hundreds of French colons, is 
to-day a tumble-down fishing hamlet with a summer population of 
ten or twelve families. Only four families reside here during the 
winter; and these will soon cross over to the Newfoundland shore, 
and locate at Bay of Islands. 

Chateau was formerly an important business centre : and the firm 
of Xoble and Pinson did an extensive business in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century. Hardly a vestige now remains of its former 

The harbor is situated in a little cove, and is decidedly picturesque. 
Immense hills, whose summits are hoary with arctic growths, look 
down upon it from every side. "Beacon • Hill," at whose base it 
nestles in peaceful loveliness, has an elevation of nearly 1,000 feet. 
The outlook from this vantage point is "a panorama of shifting 

Near the hillside is a ruined graveyard, where numerous inscrip- 
tions "carved by the unlettered muse" record the life story of its 
early settlers. 


Antelope Tickle, which lies on the east 
ANTELOPE TICKLE, side of the bay, derives its name from 

the British sloop-of-\var which pa- 
trolled this section of the "King's Dominions" when the American 
colonies were in revolt against the motherland. 

In 1780, the Antelope, whilst patrolling the Labrador and New- 
foundland coasts, overhauled the American packet Mercury, having 
on board Lawrence, the American envoy to Europe. As the vessels 
came to close quarters Lawrence threw overboard from the Mercury 
a packet. A sailor from the Antelope dived from the deck of his 
ship and rescued the packet, which contained the secret negotiations 
then being conducted between America and the Netherlands. 

The name Henley is applied to a harbor and the 
HI^NLEV. island under whose shadow the harbor rests. At the 
lime of our visit it was crowded with small 
schooners, and it appeared to me under almost the same conditions 
as those so graphically described by a former visitor. (Dr. Pack- 

As we entered the harbor the scene was unique ; the harbor had 
been packed with ice some days previously, and remnants were still 
stranded along the shore. The outlines of some of these clumps 
were beautiful ; many of them were painted with green tints while 
the sun was high ; but later in the afternoon the greens were suc- 
ceeded by bright azure blues, contrasting with the almost cobalt 
blues of the distant Laurentian hills. The entrance to the harbor is 
very interesting, the sca-clififs being over two hundred feet high, 
while behind were the peculiar outlines of the Laurentian hills, rising 
in long swells like whales' backs to the height perhaps of five or six 
hundred feet. 

Fitt's Arm is by far the best harbor in Chateau 

PITT'S ARM. Bay. It is about a mile deep and from half to 

three-quarters of a mile wide, is roomy and well 

sheltered. The harbor was named by Governor PaUiser, in 1767, 

after William Pitt — the first Earl of Chatham. 

Palliser built here the fort — "Fort Pitt' — whose ruins are still 
visible, though they are being fast obliterated by an overgrowth of 
alders and willows. 


The fort was erected in order to protect the Esquunaux and 
other British subjects in this portion of the "King's Dominions" 
against the predatory incursions of the French and the Montagnais 
Indians who frcquentlyiiarassed the settlers on this part of the coast. 
Fort Pitt was at one time the temporary residence of Governor 
PalHser, and he issued several remarkable Proclamations from his 
Labrador headquarters. 

The following was issued in 1767: 

"By His Excellency Hugh Palliser, 

"Whereas the woods are frequently set on fire upon this coast by 
the crews of whaling vessels from the plantation, and the same is 
an offence against the Statutes loth. and nth. of William III, and 
is equally prejudicial to the public, whether done wilfully or negli- 
gently, notice is hereby given that, if any persons by any means 
whatsoever shall set fire to any of the woods within my Govern- 
ment, they will be apprehended and brought to Saint John's to be 
tried for such ofifence against the said Statutes. 

"Given at Pitt's Arm, Labrador, 23d. July, 1737. 

"Hugh Palliser. 

"By His Excellency's command. 

"James Horsnail." 

Fort Pitt was besieged by the American privateer Minerva, in 
1778; and bombarded by the French, in 1796. The garrison fired 
the fort, and retreated into the country. It was never rebuilt. 

Towering in lonely majesty above 
DEVIL'S DINING TABLE, the harbor is the precipitous, ba- 
saltic cliff of the "Devil's Dining 
Table," which caps Henley Island. The island is a mass of colum- 
nar basalt rising to an elevation of 225 feet. 

As we had no ministerial work to occupy us we made the ascent 
to the "Dining Table." The task was arduous ; but on reaching the 
summit one is amply repaid, as the panorama outstretched to your 
gaze is sublime. Southward lies Belle Isle, and in the near fore- 
ground is an iceberg whose form recalls a castellated keep of mediae- 
val times. Beyond is the broad Atlantic — "old ocean's vast and 

230 wiU'Ri': THE fishers go. 

melancholy waste'" — dotted with the snowy sails of craft bound 
north to the haunts of the festive cod. At your feet nestles the har- 
bor, literally alive with fishermen. 

As the afternoon waned the atmosphere became hazy, and then 
suddenly it cleared. "Whether his Satanic Majesty was concerned 
in the transformation we do not say; but as the sun went (Unvn in 
a blaze of glory, the mountains and rocks seemed to dwarf ; an in- 
describable tint o'erspread the landscape, and a brownish mist came 
in from the sea and settled over the hills, giving them a sinister 

Sed rcvocari i^radus; hie labor, hoc opus est. Really Virgil must 
have had such a place as this in mind when he set his stylus to in- 
scribe this phrase; for the descent from the "Devil's Dining Table'" 
was more difficult than the ascent. We succeeded in reaching the 
base of the cliff without any mishap; but the low mutlerings oi 
the pilot wouUl not Ixear transcrijjtion. 

Just a little to the north of Henley Island 
GREVILLE'S FORT, may Ik- seen the ruins of an old fort, 

al)()ut which very little of a definite na- 
ture can be ascertained. It is called "Fort (jreville," and some 
writers assert "that it was built to protect the Acadian colony of 
Labrador from the attacks of the Esquimaux." This cannot be 
verified, for the simple reason that "no Acadian colony settled on 
the coast of Labrador ])revious to 1843."" At that date some families 
located at Natashquan, farther up the gulf. The fort near Henley 
was possibly erected by an old planter named Greville. about 1725. 
as at that date there was a larg"e colony of Bretons in the vicinity of 

The onlv instance of religious fanaticism of 
FANATICISM, which there is any record occurred at Henley 

Harbor, in 1884. The Church yacht, "Star of 
the Sea." having on board the Rev. T. E. Lynch — the missionary 
doing duty on the coast for the season — anchored there one evening 
in July, and during the night some miscreants came on board and 
besmeared the deck, sails and cabin with a slimy mixture whilst the 
crew were asleep. True, sectarian feeling ran high amongst the 


fishing colony in Newfouiulland at the time; but this act was un- 
worthy of fishermen. 

The residents of Henley were not party to this unseemly trans- 
action, and tendered to the good father and his crew an apology 
early next morning. 

During our visit to Henley we were the recipients of the most 
lavish kindness on the part of both "liveyeres" and transients; and 
when we were leaving the harbor they gave us quite a "send ofif." 
Our next port of call was Chimney Tickle, some ten miles to the 

The shape of this harbor presumably sug- 
CHI]\INEY TICKLE, gested its name; but, though it seems 

paradoxical, the place is sometimes called 
''Hole in the Wall." Here we found three parishioners, salmon 
catchers from Conception Bay, who were keeping "bachelors' hall." 
Needless to say. the entourage of their "tilt" was not remarkable for 
cleanliness. Here, after attending to the spiritual needs of these 
"stray sheep," I had an opportunity to "whip the waters," and suc- 
ceeded in landing several dozen splendid trout. The weight? 
"That's another story." They were large; and my expedition seemed 
to cause a great deal of amusement to some old fishermen, as I had 
no hait — this was the first time they had seen an artificial fly. For 
the benefit of Waltonians, I may say that the "Brown Hackle" is a 
very excellent fly on certain parts of the coast. 

We left Chimney Tickle with a flowing tide and 
THE CAMPS, a "close-reef" breeze for the next "station" on 

our itinerary — the Camp Islands, otherwise 
known as the "Camps" ; and we arrived there during a busy "spurt." 
Everybody was "as busy as can be" — so the patriarch of the settle- 
ment informed us. Everybody "knocked oft'" early in the evening 
to pay his respects to our humble self ; and after the social ceremony 
was over we had evening prayers and a little sermon at the house 
of the patriarch. Next morning at four o'clock we held a "station," 
at which everybody assisted. The congregation was not large, num- 
bering fourteen persons, all told, most of whom were members of 
the household, in which I had my quarters. From the "Camps" to 



our next port — "Cape Charles" — was but a short trip, so we spent 
a very pleasant time with mine host, who had taken a "day off" in 
honor of the visit of the priest. The respect and veneration those 
old people have for "the cloth" are truly very touching. During 
the day I heard many (|uaint and racy stories of the "doin's of the 
ole 'habitants"; and m\- diary received some very valuable additions 
to its already crowded pages. The modus diccndi of my old parish- 
ioner was unique. The settlement at the "Camps" has a very inter- 
esting history. It was once the rendezvous of the Frenchmen from 
Croqnc and .S7. Jnlicii; and several battcaitx came across every sum- 
mer to fish around Niger Sound and the Camp Island shoals. 

This French fishery began presumably after 1763 (the date of the 
Treaty of Paris) and continued till the early part of the last cen- 
tury. At that time Newfoundlanders, who had been chased off 
the so-called French shore, began to establish rooms on the upper 
part of the coast, gradually moving to the northward. 

, m\ 1,. LA I'M CllAKLKS. 

The run to Cape Charles was a record for 
CAPE CHARLES, our little craft; but we experienced some 

difficulty in rounding the "Fish Rock" (a 
place with an evil reputation), as we were carrying too much sail. 
Our old friend at the "Camps" had warned us about the "squalls 


off the high land." but we did not reaHze the truth of the oUl fisher- 
man's warning until we "taeked" to make Indian Cove. 

Our arrival was the source of much speculation on the part of 
the Covers ; but when they discovered " "twas the clargy's boat," 
their curiosity was intensified. We had no difficulty in "makin' 
fast" to a substantial stagehead. Several stalwarts came on board 
to inspect the new arrival, much to the disgust of Pierre, who made 
sundry very uncomplimentary remarks, in French, of course, about 
"les salots." I was forced to administer a strong rebuke to my 
Gallic factotum ; and he subsequently assumed a very penitential 

The settlement of Cape Charles has a very interesting history. 
It was founded by Nicholas Darby, in 1768, wdio held unrestricted 
sway until the arrival of Cartwright, in 1778. Cartwright had 
previously settled at Chateau Bay, but his trading post was plundered 
by the American privateer Minerva, whose pilot was one Dominick 
Killen — one of Cartwright's servants. Cartwright's losses are said 
to have reached the sum of fourteen thousand pounds. He then 
moved to Cape Charles, and located at White Bear Bay, where the 
ruins of Cartwright's establishment are still visible. 

This establishment must have been very extensive, judged by 
Labrador standards, as we learn from Cartwright's "Journal" that 
his house "measured seventy-five feet by twenty-four, and contained 
a kitchen twenty-four feet square, a dining room twenty-four by six- 
teen, six bedrooms on the ground floor, for fear of fire." 

There is now no large place of business at Cape Charles, but in 
the neighborhood there is a whale factory, at "Antles" Cove," oper- 
ated by Bowring Brothers, of St. John's. 

The people of Cape Charles are a thrifty lot, and they supplement 
their summer's earnings by "furring" during the winter months. 
They move "up the bay," where wood is easily procurable, and the 
caribou and other denizens of the forest roam wild and free. 

There was little to be done in the way of clerical work at Cape 
Charles, so we proceeded to Battle Harbor, through " 'Sizes' Harbor 
Run" (this is the local designation for St. Charles' Channel). On 
the west side of the "Run" is a famous waterway leading into Lewis' 
Sound ; this is known as "The Lodge." Whence the name is derived, 
I have not learned. 


Assizes Harbor, or, as it is called by 

ASSIZES HARIiOK. fishermen, "'Sizes' Arbor," which is en- 
tered from the southward between Copper 
and Hare Islands, is the greatest rendezvous on the coast. Xearly 
every schooner going to the coast and returning "heaves up" or 
anchors at "Sizes." A kind Providence seems to have so arranged 
the coast of Labrador that vessels may find a "shelter" at the end 
of every day's run. It is not unusual to find a hundred or more 
craft here at one time. I have counted one hundred and twenty. 

Assizes Harbor naturally suggests the judiciary; and there is no 
history so brimful of episode and curiosities as the administration of 
justice amongst the fishers in Newfoundland and its one and only 
dependency — Labrador. If some literary disciple of Themis were to 
give us in detail the records of the Newfoundland judiciary it would 
be a more fascinating story than ]\Iontague Williams' "Leaves from 
a Life." 

The Newfoundland judiciary was established in 1792, under the 
title of: "The Court of Civil Jurisdiction of Our Lord, the King, at 
Saint John's, Newfoundland." 

Previous to the establishment of this court, justice seems to have 
found no place in the colonial dictionary. 

In early times "the power of preserving order and the repression 
of crime" was vested by star chamber enactments in the merchants 
and ship owners of the West of England ; thence it passed into the 
hands of that unspeakable tyrant — the Fishing Admiral. As an 
illustration of the iniquities of the ancient code, the following is 
submitted : 

"If a man stole to the vahie of forty shillings he was to be brought 
t(^ England, and the matter was to be tried by the Earl Marshal ; and 
if the fact was proved by two witnesses, the offender zcas to be put 
to death. 

The Fishing Admirals were "consummate knaves," and had little 
respect for the dignity of justice. They held court on the quarter 
deck of a fishing schooner or in a fish store, where an inverted 
butter firkin served the purpose of a judicial seat. Their decisions 
were regulated by the size of the bribe which the suitor could tender ; 
and they inaugurated the process usually with a bowl of caJabogus 
(a decoction of spruce beer and rum). 



They invariably tried tlieir own eases first, and, of conrse, nsually 
decided against the fisherman. 

They fined, triangled and whipped at pleasure every unfortunate 
who happened to fall within their clutches. 

The Surrogates were not a whit more humane than the Fishing- 
Admirals, as the following records prove. 

In 1777 the following sentence was pronounced upon Lawrence 
Hallahan, who had been found guilty of forging a bill of £8 : 

"That you be carried back to the place from whence you came, and 
thence be led to the place of execution and there to be hanged 
by the neck until you are Dead, Dead, Dead, and the Lord have 
mercy on your soul." 


Lawrence Dalton, for forging two orders of 20s. and 17s., received 
a similar sentence ; and one Patrick Knowlan, for stealing a counter- 
pane valued at lod. (20 cents), received the following: 

"That you be whipped by the common whipper with a halter 
around your neck, that is to say, you are to receive on your bare 
back twenty lashes at the' conmion whipping post, then to be led 


to the Publick Path and receive twenty lashes more, and then be 
led by the halter as before to the X'ice-Admiral's Beach and receive 
twenty lashes more ; to forfeit all your goods and chattels ; to pay 
the charges of the Court, and to depart the island by the first 
vessel bound for Ireland, never to return on pain of having the 
same punishment repeated every Monday morning; to be kept in 
prison until you go on board." 

One of the magistrates who presided at this humane performance 
was a minister of the gospel — Edward Langman. 

In 1786 Prince William Henry, who later ascended the throne 
as William IV, exercised the function of Surrogate at Placentia ; 
and he ordered the whipping of an unfortunate fisherman whose 
crime was a slight breach of the peace. The sentence was one hun- 
dred lashes; but the victim succumbed after receiving eighty. Next 
dav his highness "inquired into the facts of the case, and discovered 
he had condemned the ivrong mun." 

In 1791 one William Pitcairn, at Placentia, was arraigned for 
stealing a piece of pork, value one shilling, and two pieces of ham, 
value tii'o pence. Pitcairn was condemned to receive thirty-six 
stripes on the hare hack and he and his family to be sent out of the 
country. Some waggish writer remarks : "What would have hap- 
pened to Pitcairn if he stole a barrel of pork or a whole ham !" 

But it is not necessary "to search the records of the ancients" for 
anomalous judicial happenings amongst the fisher folk; for within 
our own recollection the "Supreme Court on Circuit" was known 
as The Circus Court (so named, I believe, by a facetious member 
of the legal fraternity, who might have added, quorum pars magna 

In my early missionary days an itinerant justice adjudicated upon 
a case from the window of a railway carriage. The hearing of the 
case lasted three minutes — the time allotted for a train crossing; 
and as the train pulled out of the station His Honor poked his head 
through the window, and in very audible voice said to the con- 
stable who was standing by : Officer, fine that beggar — ten dol- 
lars, and tell him not to do it again" (the it was a breach of the 
License Law). 

Another case was decided by the same justice in quite a Sol- 
omonic (?) manner. 



A friend of his had shot some partridges out of season; the judge 
confiscated the game by inviting his friend to dinner, at which the 
partridges were put in evidence, and washed down by copious 
draughts of Amontillado and Newman's Port. 

The Court of Labrador, whose first sittings were held at Assizes 
Harbor, was established in 1826, and the first presiding judge was 
William Patterson, Esq., R. N. There was really no serious business 
for the attention of the court, and the only transactions of the first 
sitting were the granting of some licenses to sell "Booze" and the 
adjustment of some fishing accounts. 


The Labrador Court was discontinued in 1833, as there was no 
business to occupy its attention, and remained in abeyance until 
1863, when the Local Legislature established "The Court of Limited 
and Civil Jurisdiction." The last "Circuit" of the Labrador Court 
was held in 1873. At the present time justice is administered on 
the coast by J. P.'s; and these are as numerous as "Kentucky colo- 
nels" in a neighboring country. 

Grave offences are rare in the fisher's land, and only one case of 
a serious nature has occurred within recent years. 



The frequenters of the coast are a phenomenally law-abiding 
people, and there is perhaps no other country on earth where there 
are fewer matters for adjustment by legal tribunals. 

Rut rcvcnons a nos montons: we did not remain long at Assizes 
Harbor. We moved on to the metropolis of the coast — Battle Har- 
bor, about four miles distant. 

On arrival at Battle I met two clerical confreres — one of whom 
had "done" the northern section, the other was going to winter in 
the Straits. 

I paid off my "crew," and awaited the arrival of the S. S. Con- 
script, to proceed to pastures new in Newfoundland. Whilst await- 
ing the arrival of the steamer I had ample time to further explore 
Battle Harbor. (I had visited it before, but then my time was ex- 
clusivelv occupied with mission work.") 


Battle Harbor is formed by the expan- 
BATTLE I-IARBOR. sion of a "Tickle" between Battle and 

Great Caribou Islands; the eastern en- 
trance is not navigable for vessels, but the southernmost of the two 
western approaches has sufficient depth of water for large steamers. 
This entrance is narrow and sinuous, and the mail steamer on 
berthing actually scrubs the cliff on the starboard side. The geo- 
logical formation of this cliff' is a scientific puzzle, as gneiss, syenite 
and doleritic basalt are mingled promiscuously. 


The harbor is said to derive its name from a great battle fought 
between the Esquimaux and Montagnais Indians. Here presumably 
the Esquimaux made their last "stand"' against their formidable 
rivals on Southern Labrador. The "last battle" has been located 
at several points in the Straits of Belle Isle ; but, from reliable data, 
I think Battle Harbor is rightfully the claimant to this distinction. 

It is certain that, even as late as 1857, there were several Esqui- 
maux families in this neighborhood : from Bishop Field's "Journal" 
we learn that in 1857 "the first Esquimaux were confirmed and ad- 
mitted to communion at Battle Harbor." 

An Esquimaux settlement existed at Fox Harbor, across Leivis' 
Sound in i860; but no Esquimaux (at least, none of the full-blooded 
type) are now found south of Long Tickle. 

Indian Cove, near Battle Harbor, had several half-breed families 
amongst its population about 1865. 

It was presumably from this neighborhood that Bishop Field 
brought the young man Gibbons, who, after a very successful career 
at King's College, Windsor, N. S., entered the ministry of the 
Anglican Church. If I am well informed, he died at Parrsboro, in 


The settlement of Battle Harbor is situated on a small rocky slope 
on the w^est side of Battle Island, and it has a resident population of 
about one hundred and fifty souls. It possesses a neat Anglican 
church, a parsonage, a school, a hospital, and the "room" of Baine 
Johnston & Co., of St. John's. This "room" is one of the oldest 
on the coast, and does a very extensive business. It w'as estab- 
lished by Slade, of Twillingate, in 1795, and it still retains many 
features of the old English foundation. 


The houses connected with the "room" are substantial erections, 
and the arrangements for handling fish are quite up to date. 

At the time of my early visits to the coast this "room" had a 
resident agent who was "the guide, philosopher and friend" of the 
entire community. 

A little story is told which emphasizes the supreme position occu- 
pied by this old Englishman. During the tour of the census enu- 
merator some years ago this worthy gentleman asked (as is custom- 
ary for Newfoundland census takers) the religion of each family. 
One good housewife (whose husband was "in the bay a-rindin' " ) 
told the enumerator that "she baint sure what it be, but s'posed 
'twas Mr. - — 's religion." 


During my explorations around the harbor I had an opportunity 
to examine some old account books of the Slade regime ; and they 
were certainly unique in the matter of penmanship and — charges. 
I regret that I am not able to submit any of these old accounts just 
now, but from "truck" prices obtaining elsewhere it is obvious that 
they were somewhat exorbitant. 

The following are taken from published accounts of one of the 
old supplying houses : 

Bread (hardtack), 40s. — $8; flour (No. 2), 77s. — $16; molasses, 
7s.; pork, 1 30s. 


Other q;oods are priced in the same ratio, i. e., one hundred per 
cent, beyond the regular cash price. 

The old Labradorians must have been rather stylish folk, as I 
noticed in the list of "remains" for the year 1840 several dozen 
heaver hats and silk handkerchiefs. 

Money was unknown even in Newfoundland outports in the early 
days, and many fishermen never "saw the color of a dollar" and 
remained in debt to the merchant from the cradle to the grave. 

The "room" does a very large export trade (its exports for the 
year 1907 amounted to $112,584). 

The "transients" at Battle Harbor (chiefly small crews from 
Carbonear) are located on the opposite side of the harbor, on Great 
Caribou Island, whose rocky clififs rise almost perpendicularly to a 
height of nearly two hundred feet. The houses (which suggest the 
"clifif dwellings" of ancient days) are built on piles {posten shores, 
in the vernacular of the coast), set in crevices of the clifif, and are 
reached by a series of platforms made of longers (small poles) 
covered with sods. The houses from without do not look inviting, 
but within many of them are marvels of cleanliness. 

The view from the top of the ice-shaved hill which rises to a height 
of nearly three hundred feet in the rear of the settlement is de- 

Looking westward you see the gray, time-worn summits that 
look down upon the St. Lewis River ; to the northward lies the 
dark-hued sxenitic blufif, which forms the westward entrance to the 
"Sound" ; to the eastward lie the "Ribbs" and Double Island, on 
which now stands the beacon which guides the tempest-tossed fisher 
to a haven of refuge. The prospect is ever changing, and there is 
always something novel to arrest one's gaze — the colors of the 
rocks, with their stunted patches of vegetation, the surf beating 
furiously against the beetling crag, the ever-varying color of the 
sea and sky, the azure tints of the iceberg, the glorious sunsets 
can only be described by the artist's brush and pencil. 

The rocks of Battle Harbor are archaic granites and gneiss, gray 
and pink, with numerous outcroppings of dolerite. Veins of white 
quartz run in every direction, forming bands like ribbons woven 
in the gneissic clifif. Everywhere there is evidence of Titanic force 
in the shaping of the hills and valleys; and, in strange contrast to 


WHKRK Tllli I'lSllERS GO. 

all this, one sees at various points the marks of the ice cap in the 
striations which run in a northwest and southeast direction on the 
southern section of Great Caribou Island. 

The cliffs which mark the approach to the landinj^ place at "Mur- 
phy's Cove" are buttressed as symmetrically as if human hands had 
been engaged in the work, and there arc other geological curiosities 
which arrest the attention of the observant. 

The Conscript arrived rather unexpectedly, so further exi)loration 
was impossible. W'illiiii six hours from her arrival we were home- 
ward Ixmnd: and a week later I became the first incumbent of the 
on]\' inland t<iwn in the ancient cnlon\-. 




"up the siioRi-:."' 

Battle Harbor to Domino Run. 
"The sea is a jovial comrade. 
He laughs wherever he goes ; 
His merriment shines in the dimpling lines 
That wrinkle his hale repose ; 
He lays himself down at the feet of the sun, 
And shakes all over with glee, 

And the broad-backed billows fall faint on the shore, 
In the mirth of the mighty sea." 

("A\'ind and Sea," Bayard Taylor.) 

Two years passed ere I made another trip to the coast of Labra- 
dor ; and this was made under agreeable conditions. A splendid 
steamer, the Grand Lake, had just been placed on the Northern 
Coastal service — and her captain was my old friend, the genial Cap- 
tain Delaney, now commander of the Bruce. 

A voyage with Captain Delaney is one of the most enjoyal:)le things 
imaginable, and those who have had such an experience will ever 
remember it. ^^'e had a delightful trip to Battle Harbor, and re- 
gretted to part company there with the captain and officers of the 
Grand Lake: but the fact that we were to have such a skilful mari- 
ner as Captain Drake to take us north in the Windsor Lake was 
welcome news. 

The history of the Newfound- 
THE COASTAL CO^IPAXY. land coastal service, to which 

both steamers belonged, is per- 
haps one of the most interesting in marine annals. The service has 
been in operation for nearly sixty years, and no loss of life has been 
recorded in its history. 

The inauguration of a steam coastal service in Newfoundland 
was effected mainlv through the efforts of the Roman Catholic 


wiiI':kk Till': fisiiers go. 

Bishop of St. John's, Rt. Rev. T. J. Mullock, who, in a famous 
pastoral letter in i860, denounced certain procrastinatini; local poli- 
ticians as heinc: luuuindful of the crying needs of the people in the 

Newfoundland (uUports. 

.Aiuongst other thiniL^s it says : 


"I solemnly declare that without steam communication the people 
must remain poor, degraded and ignorant . . . How does it 
happen that an enormous revenue, wasted in providing useless places 
for State Paupers, cannot afford the sum of £3.000 a year for out- 
port accommodation . . . We pay heavy taxes, but get com- 
paratively no return ; almost all goes in salaries and pretended com- 
pensations, and I have no hesitation in saying that the collection 
of revenue under the present system is nothing but legalized rob- 
bery ... I repudiate any connection with a party who take 
care of themselves, but do nothing for the people. 


"This is not a political or a religious (juestion, it is one of civiliza- 
tion, in which Catholics and rrotestants, priests and ministers are 
equally interested." 

Newfoundland owes a heavy deht of gratitude to Dr. Mullock, 
who was not only the active promoter of steam communication, both 
local and transatlantic, for the colony, but was the first to advo- 
cate a railway to Har1x)r Grace, and telegraphic communication. To 
him is due also the conception of the idea of the transatlantic cable; 
but tiilit alter honores. It is a singular fact that even in more recent 
times great opposition was ottered to steam communication with the 
outports ; and I have on more than one occasion heard local mer- 
chants denounce all and sundry connected with it, because this 
service deuioraliced the people; it made them too independent! 
These merchants are sticklers for the fish-flake regime, when mole- 
skin and canvas jackets were the fishermen's Sunday garb; and the 
normal condition of the toiler debt and degradation. The first 
steamer engaged in the coastal service was the Victoria, Captain 
Cudworth, which made monthly trips to the north in i860. In 1863 
the Ariel went into commission ; later the Tigress and Leopard were 
engaged, and fortnightly trips were made north and south. In 1877 
these were supplanted by the Plozvr and the Ctirlezv (the name of 
the latter being subsequently changed to Windsor Lake). 

These ships being found inadequate for the ever-increasing traf- 
fic, were replaced on the Newfoundland coast by the Volunteer and 
the Conscript. The former was lost at Englee, in 1891 ; and the 
latest achievement in local marine architecture — -the Grand Lake — 
took her place. Within recent }ears there has been a further im- 
provement in the coastal service ; and two palatial vessels — the Pros- 
per o (Captain Fitzpatrick ) and the Portia (Captain Kean) — are 
now engaged in the coastal trade. These ships are 1,000 tons regis- 
ter and are admirably equipped. 

Battle Harbor had undergone a great 
BATTLE HARBOR, change since my former visits ; the busi- 
ness of the "room" had been curtailed 
owing to the financial catastrophe of "Black Monday" (it has since 
regained its former activity) ; but a new institution had arisen — the 
Hospital of the Deep Sea Mission. The hospital now consists of 



two connectine: frame houses surrounded by a piazza. The build- 
ings are two stories in height, neatly painted, with a text from the 
Bible in large white letters on a green background running across 
the fronts: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these 
mv brethren, ye have done it unto me." 

There are comfortable accommodations for the nurses and for 
about twenty-five patients. There is also a neat dispensary, where 
(Uit-patients coming from the fishing vessels or brought from the 


nearby harbors are attended to. There is an excellent operating 
room, where some delicate operations are performed. The resident 
physician has neat quarters in an adjoining cottage. The ]Vindsor 
had been detained north by storms, so we had a prolonged stay at 
Battle ; meanwhile we w-ere not idle, and made daily visits to Mat- 
thew's Cove for religious exercises and instruction. 

Returning from the cove one morning, I descried the smoke of 
the steamer rounding Lewis' Cape, and two hours later she arrived. 
There was considerable cargo to handle, so it was far into the next 
day before we started northward. 


Hardly had we left our moorings when we ran into a dense fog, 
and a Labrador fog is by no means enjo}able. We were groping 
our way through ice and breakers, when the lookout reported ; 
"Land ahead, sir !"' Straight ahead was a grim, menacing promon- 
tory wreathed in fog; it was Cape St. Lewis. "Port a little!" and 
then a shrill blast from the whistle. Were we making a harbor? 
No, the captain was locating the land by the echo ! Wonderful 
men these Newfoundland master mariners ! Somebody says "they 
can even smell the land." We were moving "dead slow." At in- 
tervals there came the command to the helmsman, "Starboard easy !" 
"Steady as she goes," and within half an hour we had anchored. 
Where are we? asked some anxious American tourists. We had 
anchored in a little nook whose name suggests its size — Petty 
Harbor (another of those old fishing haunts of the Frenchmen). 

Here we landed Her Majesty's mails, not a particularly large 
bundle, a dozen letters, possibly, and sundry small parcels — "mitts," 
the genial mail ofificer informed me. 

The mail service on the Labrador coast 
THE ]\L\IL SER\"ICE. is a busy, if not always a very important 

service. The mail officer lands a mail 
bag at every stopping place, and I have sometimes seen the contents 
consist of a letter or two and a postcard. This officer seems to 
have the patience of Job and the memory of a Mezzofanti. There 
are about two hundred places along the coast, and possibly one 
thousand schooners between Nain and Battle Harbor, to which 
letters are addressed, and fishermen's caligraphy is not always very 

The postmaster is supposed to know the whereabouts of every 
Mary Jane or Shining Star which sails the coast, and he generally 
manages to locate them. It is not unusual to see the steamer's deck 
crowded with fishermen whilst she remains in port, every one of 
whom expects a letter. He is a marvelous man, this genial post- 
master, and when distinguished-service medals are being conferred 
on Newfoundland officials, the mail officer of the Labrador service 
is the rightful claimant to the first. 

The ship's boat had returned from the shore, and the passengers 
who had ventured ashore "to explore" the settlement had barely 


reached the deck, when a blast from the whistle announced that 
we were off, bound for Spear Harbor, some distance to the north. 
The peculiar feature of these Labrador harbors, or ports of call, is 
that they are almost invisible until (me is actually in them. 

The steamer suddenly rounds a l)luff head or passes through 
a series of "tickles" into a snug little nook surrounded by precipitous 
cliffs, where you find perhaps a dozen or more "tilts," a similar 
number of "stages," and five or six schooners — this is the harbor. 
We had anchored in one of these nooks — Spear Harbor (another 
Frenchmen's retreat — Havre d'Espoir — in former days). Here I 
bade good-by to my friends of a day, the genial officers of the 
Windsor Lake, and to the comforts of the "gastronomic south" : 
One's tastes on the coast of Labrador must not be epicurean where 
fresh beef is almost unknown, and milk — even the "tin cow" (the 
condensed variety) — is a luxury. 

Spear Harbor is a small, insignificant fish- 

SPEAR HARTU )1\. ing settlement consisting of five or six 
families of "transients." 

It was foniK'rh' an important fishing post, and there, so I was 
informed Iw an old fisherman, "you could hardly get room to drop 
a grapnel." 

It was the favorite resort for American fishermen from the Massa- 
chusetts coast, and in 1830, thirty vessels from the L^nited States 
"moored" here. Now, not a schooner is found fishing at Spear 

Close by the harbor there is a large tarn-like body of water known 
as "Salt Pond," connected with Spear Harbor by a marshy isthmus ; 
and at high tide the water overflows the isthmus and boats row over 
it. Ere many years it will likel} be an independent body of water, 
as the land in this section of Labrador is said to be rising at the 
rate of six inches a vear. 

The smallest post office, perhaps, in 
A SMALL POST OFFICE, existence is found at Spear Harbor. 

It does a business of about two 
dollars a year. 

There were no members of my "parish" here, so I secured the 


services of two stalwart fishermen to convey my baggage, consist- 
ing of a little "chapel" and my personal belongings, to the next 
settlement — Murray's Harbor — which lay about three miles distant. 
The sun was sinking in a blaze of golden splendor as we reached 
the brow of the hill which overlooks the little harbor; and soon the 

"Sun is set; and in his latest beams 
Yon little cloud of ashen gray and gold, 
Slowly upon the amber air unrolled, 

The falling mantle of the prophet seems." 

And before we had reached the little glacis in which the harbor lay 
the day had passed into the land of dreams. 

Murray's Harbor is known to fisher- 

MURRAY'S HARBOR, men as '"the home of the two-eyed 

beefsteak" (the herring) ; and in olden 
times it was the greatest herring post on the shore. Within recent 
years the herring fishery has almost reached the vanishing point. 

The harbor is a safe retreat for fishing vessels, as an island pro- 
tects it from the northeast winds. There are two entrances — Laml)"> 
and Alain Tickles. 

It was originall)- settled by Devonshire fishermen, who returned 
every fall to the "old country" ; but in the early thirties it was trr- 
quented by fishermen from St. John's who established permanent 
rooms. The earliest planter was one Motty, who carried on an 
extensive trade in herring and salmon. 

I had very comfortable quarters at Murray's Harbor with the 
patriarch of the settlement — Skipper Solomon Clarke, from whom 
I learned a great many traditions about the people and the early 

Skipper Solomon was one of the types whom tourists caricature 
so unblushingly. True, the tourist sees the fisherman under very 
unfavorable surroundings ; his domicile is perhaps a "tilt" ; but withal 
there is something noble even in the lowliest amongst these old 
fisher folk. Such hospitality ! Such luiselfishness ! Such innate 
manliness! These "old-timers" are not cultured (according to the 
standard of the writers of "wondrous tales"), but they possess that 
which is more ennobling than the coronet. 



What a fund of information these old men possess! I have met 
some of them whose reminiscences, if procured, were a veritable 
treasure trove. 

1 obtained some interesting data from my old friend, who had 
spent nearly fifty years on the coast. Amongst other things, I 
learned that in former years fish sold at Murray's Harbor for 
seven-and-six-pencc a quintal ; but on one or two occasions it 
"fetched forty shillings" ; that seal oil "brought" forty-five pounds 
a ton, and flour sold at $20 a barrel. This must have been in the 
davs of "Arcadian simplicity, when Newfoundland had no public 
debt and port wine wa> a shilling- a bnttlc I" 

A "house ox shores. ' 

After holding "stations" for two days at Murray's Harbor, I 
bade good-by to the genial old skipper, and started, in a skiff manned 
by seven young fishermen, for St. Francis Harbor. More types ! 
These young toilers were the perfection of rugged manhood, and 
their services on the coast are always given gratuitously. 

To offer them any monetary recompense were an unpardonable 
insult. There is no discrimination in the fishermen's generosity; 


they help the priest or the parson indiscriminately. These noble 
characters seem to have no word for "fear" in their vocabulary; dis- 
tance or privation is never reckoned. I have known a "crew" to 
make a journey of seventy miles in the depth of winter to bring a 
clerg}-man on a sick call. Little they recked the toil, for it was a 
service of charity. There are no people on earth more self-sacri- 
ficing when there is question of rendering service to their brethren 
or their clergyman, than Newfoundland fishermen. Not many years 
ago a brave crew and a noble apostle — the beloved Father O'Regan 
— were lost on the south shore of Newfoundland, somewhere be- 
tween Rose Blanche and Channel ; and this is not the only instance 
of the drowning of heroic men and missionaries recorded in the 
annals of the old homeland, whilst engaged in missions of mercy. 

The trip from Murray's Harbor was delightful, and we had a 
splendid view of two harbors which were doubtless named by an 
enthusiastic Englishman — Port Charlotte and IMecklenburg. As we 
crossed the mouth of the Alc.vis River the sun sank slowly behind 
the distant hills ; and then, 

"Into the darkness and the hush of night 
Slowly the landscape sinks and fades away. 
And with it fade the phantoms of the day 
And ghosts of men and things that haunt the light." 

It was very dark when we entered Francis Harbor, but every 
stage was aglow, as it had been "a big fish day." My "crew" re- 
turned to their home at [Murray's as soon as we had finished a sub- 
stantial meal of good solid fisherman's fare. I wondered why they 
had left so abruptly ; but my host informed me : "They didn't like 
the way the sun went down." To me it had seemed a glorious 
sunset, but to them there were signs in the heavens which I could 
not discern. 

They did wisely, as at midnight a storm came up from the north- 
east and it "rained cats and dogs." At intervals during the early 
hours I could hear the roar of the storm and the plashing of the 
water beneath my windowpane. It was a dreadful night, and the 
moaning of the sea was melancholy. I was up betimes, and peer- 
ing through the eight-by-ten window, I saw that the storm had 
left reminders of its fury; wreckage was strewn everywhere, and 



at Pii^co>i Island, which lies at the mouth of the harbor, a vessel 
was "hiq^h and dry." but uninjured. No lives were lost, but the 
crew III' the schtxnuT had had a very narrow escape. 

I had a lars^c conjijrej^ation at the "stations," notwithstanding the 
ha\uc ul ihc ^ale ; and duriuf;^ the day, which was a "fishermen's 
holiday," I had an oiiportunity to obtain many interesting data con- 
cerning the settlement. 

The "room" was founded l)\- the Ih-m of Slade, of Twillingate, 
in ijijo. but later it i)assed into the hands of Ridley & Co., of Harbor 
(irace. from whom it was purchased by the j)resent owners, the 
Messrs. Uorke, of Carbonear. 


The island on which it is located — Granhy Island — is a huge mass 
of syenite, barring the outlets of two large rivers, the Alexis and the 
Gilbert, both of which, at some distance from the estuaries, are good 
fishing streaius. Hut wc had no time for whipping the waters; 
we were away next morning for "The Bight," which lies just around 
the cape, where we had a large number of parishioners. Two days 
were spent here, and then a fishing schooner oflfered a chance to get 
north to Dead IshDid. There was a stifT breeze from the south- 


wc?t, and we hugged the shore under small canvas. The coast 
line in this section is rugged and precipitous, and there are some 
very singular land formations. Near Occasional Harbor (vulgo 
"Occasionable" Harbor) there is a series of immense caves hewn 
out by the sea; and just north of the promontory called Ship Har- 
bor Head there is a great arch of rock through which you see the 
green of the forest beyond. Crossing St. Michael's Bay ("Scrammy 
Bay," as it is known to fishermen), we were caught in a squall and 
lost some "headgear." which necessitated our putting in at Square 
Island Harbor. This interesting creek has three "tickles" — leading 
to a little harbor not larger than a mill pond. The island in which 
the harbor is situated is absolutely bare on the summit and rises to a 
double trvmcated hill, one section of which is about six hundred feet 
high. The view from this vantage point is magnificent, especially 
just before sunset. 

Away to the westward the sun sank in a blaze of glory, and 
as it went down it looked like a huge ball of crimson. 

Its rays were at intervals transformed into red and bronze, an 1 
the "skiers"' and little islets in the offing were bathed in a glr)w of 
indescribable tint: the scene was bewildering in its grandeur. 

The eastern point of the island is 220 feet high, and it is called 
TJie Sii^i^ar-loaf. As the "repairs" detained us till the following after- 
noon I had an opportunity to examine some of the many interesting 
features of this peculiar little haven. The hilltops are strewn with 
bowlders, some of them of immense size, but seemingly of more 
recent origin than those seen farther south. ^lany of them are 
angular and are gradually disintegrating. 

The hilltops have evidently been moulded by ice, and the rochcs 
nioutonecs are very distinctly marked. 

Around the harbor the formation is varied by the presence of 
dark syenite, due to the presence of Labradorite, which here re- 
places the flesh-colored feldspar of the syenite farther south ; there 
are also large masses of actinolite, with a little quartz and some 
iron pyrites. Barren and desolate though the settlement appears, 
there are some small patches of vegetation, and the "landwash" ter- 
minates in a little green fringe. In the ravines beyond there were 
several patches of bronze-green foliage. 

The settlement was crowded with "tilts" and "stages," and the 


people seemed happy and care-free. It boasts of a little school which 
is conducted by the Methodist church, and it is evidently a great 
boon to the dwellers in this lonely spot. 

Our craft was ready for sea on the following day, and at an 
earlv hour in the afternoon we made sail for Dead Islands, a few 
miles to the north. But we were doomed to disappointment as the 
wind came up from the northeast in a "flurry," and we were forced 
to put in at A'oii'lau's Harbor, where I bade adieu to the skipper 
who had so generously accommodated me. 

This little harbor is settled by people 
XOWLAN'S HARBOR, from Conception Bay, all of whom are 

descendants of the energetic Irish 
emigrants of 1820, and practically every cove in the neighborhood 
has a Celtic name. Here I met Captain Fitzgerald, the learned and 
entertaining planter, who has given us such a fund of information 
about "spooks" and sundry other things concerning the Labrador 
settlements. The captain has also several acts of heroism to his 
credit, but he invariably eliminates the personal ego from his recitals. 
Numbers of mariners have received imperial decorations for less 
heroic services than his. One of these acts of bravery was the 
rescue of the Keefe crew in 1867. The vessel wdiich Captain Keefe 
commanded had been driven to sea from Corbett's Harbor in a 
gale which swept the coast on the 9th of October. Captain Fitz- 
gerald rescued the crew from the sinking vessel some miles south- 
east of Belle Isle several days later, when only the forward part 
of the vessel was above water. The crew and freighters w-ere 
huddled together, awaiting their doom, when they were rescued 
from a watery grave by the heroic action of the valiant captain. 

We remained at Xozchni's Harbor until the 
DEAD ISLANDS, storm abated, and then proceeded through 

the "Tickle" to Dea.d Islands. 
This settlement is an archipelago consisting of two large and 
several small islands, the group covering an area of nearly two 
square miles. Jl'est Island is the largest, being about two miles 
long and 250 feet high. North Island is smaller, and is separated 
from Jl'est Island bv Stoz'e Tickle. The settlement, one of whose 


first planters was my grandfather, gets its name from the finding 
of a dead body on the North Island shore, by one of the early 
fishermen. This locality was very familiar to me in name, as in 
my younger days, as soon as I was capable of doing office work, 
I made out a great many "shipping papers" for sharemen and 
crews who had accounts with our Labrador business. 

The next "port of call" was Snug Harbor, which we reached in 
a "jack" manned by a crew from our own establishment. 

The weather was delightful and en route we had an opportunity 
to explore Cape Bluff, a very prominent headland, rising steeply to 
a double-peaked hill 719 and 695 feet high, ending in bluff cliffs. 
At the southern end of the cape is a small rocky peninsula no feet 
high, which shelters a small cove. Here we landed to "boil the 
piper" (a tin kettle used by fishing boats). Immediately north of 
Cape Blnff is a singular island known as "The Gull"; it is almost 
snow-white, and shows a marked contrast to the mainland, which 
is of a leaden hue, being composed of syenite. We entered Snug 
Harbor to the northward of Murrax Point. 

Snug Harbor is well named, as it is located 
SXUG HARBOR, in a placid basin surrounded by great rocky 

walls. At its mouth lies "Cooper Island," a 
steep, precipitous hill nearly five hundred feet high, at whose base 
is a little glacis in which lies "Green Cove." Snug Harbor has a 
large fishing "room," established by a planter of Harbor Grace — 
Captain Ryan, in the "50's, but now owned by the firm of Munn & 
Co. There are several interesting places in the near vicinity of 
Snug Harbor, and many of them are suggestive of settlement by 
sons of the Emerald Isle, as the names are decidedly Celtic — e. g., 
"Durneen's Cove," "Corragh-na-buss," "Corragh-na-graw." Close 
by Snug Harbor is a little creek known as "Tub Harbor," whose 
name was evidently suggested by its resemblance to the democratic 
utensil of that name. In connection with this settlement a very 
interesting story is told in Dr. Grenfell's "\^ikings of To-day." The 
incident occurred in connection with a lawsuit regarding the strand- 
ing of the English schooner High Flyer in the 8o's. The case was 
being adjudicated in the Admiralty Court of Great Britain, and 
the learned judge asked the counsel for the plaintiff: "Where is 



this Tub Harbor?"' The counsel answered: "In Labrador." And 
then His Lordship asked: "Where is Labrador?"' The counsel 
gravely replied : "In Tub Harbor." 

Some racy stories are told of the Snug Harbor "concern," 
amongst them the following: After the failure of a well-known 
business firm some years ago, an expert accountant was sent from 
England to "examine the books." He spent several days at Suus^ 
Harbor, but he was unable to unravel the tangled web. 

He is said to have remarked that he formerly believed the "Gor- 
dian Knot" incident related in ancient history to be a myth, but he 
no longer thought so, for here was a modern instance ; and as "he 
was not gifted with the prowess of Alexander the Great, he could 
not disentangle it." lie knew something, presumabl\. of classic 
literature, but evidcntlv little about fisliing accounts. 

\I.Mm».\ IICKLE. 

After a pleasant stay with the genial 
VENISON TICKLE, agent at Snug Harbor, we were again 

en route, and went northward to Venison 
Tickle — an imijortant fishing centre, situated on the southeast cor- 
ner of Slonx Island. 


On the summit of the island is a "lookout," surmounted by a flag- 
staff which serves as a landmark to fishermen. Venison Island has 
a large "room," established in 1795 by the same firm which did 
business at Battle and St. Francis Harbor — Slade, of Twillingate. 
Within the precincts of the "room" is a neat school, which is in 
operation during the summer months. The school also serves as 
a church on Sundays. 

After leaving Venison Island we passed 
HAWKES HARBOR, close by the "Skerries" and "Eddystone" 

islands, and reached Hawkes Harbor, a 
busy little port situated at the south end of Hawkes Island. 

The island has several craggy hills on whose summits and slopes 
are bowlders of enormous size, and some of the peaks rise to a 
height of six hundred feet. 

From Hazvkes Harbor our journey was made in a small skiff, and 
the visitation included Styles' Penguin, Botdter's Rock and Seal 
Islands; but further progress was arrested by a northeaster which 
detained us at Punch Bozvl. The scenic features of the coast in this 
section are not particularly interesting; the land is low and the 
formation is practically the same as in the neighborhood of Square 

Whether the shape of the harbor gave this 
PUNCH BOWL, settlement its name or whether its early oc- 
cupants indulged in the "flowing bowl," I 
have been unable to ascertain. It is an uninviting place, though 
its people are extremely hospitable. The following paragraph is a 
very accurate description of the coast within the neighborhood : 
"While the deep fiords extending into the land, and the numerous 
islands along the coast, all point to a former subsidence of the land 
and constitute 'drowned' valleys and coast, there is also a palpable 
evidence of recent elevation of land. At frequent intervals all along 
the shore there are splendid examples of 'raised beaches.' At one 
locality above the present beach of rounded pebbles and cobblestones 
there is a green patch, above which is another distinct cobblestone 
beach. Here there is a stretch of turf, and again another distinct 


beach, elevated sixty feet or more above the present level. Every- 
where the rocks belong to the archaic group of granites and syenites, 
and are crossed in many places by trap dykes. 

These dykes stand out black and forbidding, but are usually 
worn back into chasms where they cross the hillsides ; they appear 
at times like straight green roads, in a country where roads do not 
exist. (There is not a mile of road properly so-called along the 
whole coast line.) In the shelter of the depression caused by the 
erosion of the dykes, fir and spruce and Labrador tea and laurel 
manage to exist while all around is wind-swept rock, naked except 
for the lichen growth which stains its rugged sides." (Townsend.) 

Near Punch Bowl is a little settlement which was on our visiting 
list, and we succeded in reaching it after the storm had subsided. 
We arrived at a time when the sea was breaking furiously over the 
sunken rocks and shoals, but we gave these angry splutterings a 
wide berth. At our stopping place — Corbett's Harbor — we had one 
of the most comfortable quarters ever occupied by a traveller in 
Labrador. The exterior of this fishers' cot was not pretentious, but 
within everything was tidy. Corbett's Harbor is a very old fishing 
settlement, and it was established in 1835, by a fisherman named 

Michael Corbett, of Bay, who had been driven off the 

Newfoundland north coast by French warships. He was fishing in 
the neighborhood of La Scie, on the French shore, in 1834, and 
he was chased away by the French man-of-war in a very unceremo- 
nious manner. The attitude of French commandants towards New- 
foundland fishermen, on the so-called French shore, was the first 
step towards "settling" the upper part of the Labrador coast. 

It seems rather anomalous that French warships should chase 
fishermen off their native coast ; but by virtue of the provisions of 
the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) the French obtained rights of fishing 
on certain sections of the coast of Newfoundland; and by an un- 
warranted interpretation of the treaty they later claimed exclusive 
right. This was for many years a qnestio vexata between the French 
and British authorities; but the question was adjusted in 1904. 
England paid an indemnity to French "roomholders" on the French 
shore and ceded to France some territory elsewhere in lieu of the 
latter's supposititious rights. A little cove in the vicinity of Cor- 
bett's Harbor called Orleans is still suggestive of the Gaul. 


The storm which had detained us at Punch Bay wrought havoc 
in the neighborhood. It is a difficult and dangerous avocation truly, 
this life of the Labrador fisherman, for in a few hours the entire 
"summer's voyage" may be swept away. Every gale means serious 
losses to those who have "twine" (this is the term used by fisher- 
men for traps, nets and seines), as it is usually badly damaged by 
these dreadful northeasters which are so prevalent on the coast. We 
were loath to leave this comfortable nook, but must needs, and 
evening found us at Webber's Coz-'e. 

Webber's Cove is an uninviting section, 

WEBBER'S CO\'E. and only a few fishermen are located there. 

It is a very convenient point for collections 

(not church collections, but collections of fish !). Webber's Cove has 

a large "Barter Shop." 

These institutions, which are known all over the coast of New- 
foundland and Labrador, are not usually very pretentious establish- 
ments, but they do considerable trade, as they are furnished with 
all sorts of commodities for fishing and household purposes; and 
you may procure anything from a puncheon of molasses to a skein 
of thread. They even have a "candy department," to attract the 
younger members of the fishing community who deal in "scrawds." 
Some years ago I journeyed along the coast with some American 
tourists, and a lady in the party asked the manager of one of these 
"Barter Shops" for a package of Huyler's chocolates. The man- 
ager, who was a consummate wag, said he would "run over to the 
factory and fill her order." The lady waited patiently and nearly 
"lost her passage." There was a factory in the vicinity, but it was 
an oil factory. These barter shops do little cash business, but they 
exchange their wares for fish, salmon, furs and even "rounders" and 
"laggies." Needless to say, the prices charged for the wares are 
not city prices. Webber's Cove didn't offer any inducement for a 
prolonged visit, so we were en route to Batteau in the early morning. 
Our trip was an unpleasant one ; it rained and stormed dreadfully. 
After a severe drubbing we reached Batteau in a very dilapidated 
condition. I was garbed in a suit of yellow oilskins when I landed 
at the "room," and presented presumably a very bedraggled appear- 
ance. A large store was being erected for Ryan & Co. by some 

26o WHERE TiiE ElSllERS GO. 

carpenters from a little town in Bonavista, and the foreman was 

John . I went into the store, of which the upper tioor was 

bcini:^ laid, and I told John that the priest had just arrived from 
Webber's Cove. He had not seen me before, and, clad as I was in 
oilskins, I did not present a very clerical appearance. He replied : 
"Waal, dem clergy is like Mudder Carey's chickens — you ken al- 
ways expec' a blow w'en dey comes." He added some further 
adjectival expressions regarding the sanity of the clergy. ^R•an- 
time I had removed my sou'wester and oil jumper. John suddenly 
disappeared, and he was not visible for the remainder of my visit 
to Battcan. Next morning, when T received the collection which 
the proprietor of the "room" liad kindly taken up, the first name 
on the long list of contributions was that of my friend the foreman — 
John, $5.00. ( Jolm doesn't like to have this incident related.) 

Batteau. as the iiame suggests, was settled Ijv Erench fishermen 
in early days, but no traces of their occupation now remain. It 
is a decidedly busy place, and is usually crowded with schooners. 
It is regarded as an excellent fishing post, and there is a Labrador 
expression which ranks almost as a proverb: "liatteau never fails." 
I have seen one hundred boats and schooners anchored there, 
amongst them three "foreigners," awaiting fish cargoes for Euro- 
pean ports. Batteau in fc^rmer years had an unsavory reputation 
for "Shecbecns" (places where liquor w^as sold surreptitiously), but 
within recent years, tliaid<s to the vigilant measures of the pro- 
prietor of the "room," a man can't "raise a thirst." 

We had two other settlements on our itinerary, immediately north 
of Battcan — Black Tickle and Sahnon Bight. The former is an im- 
portant shipping centre, and vessels load here for foreign markets. 
The latter in olden times was headquarters for a traffic which hap- 
pily is fast disappearing from the coast — illicit retailing of grog. 

A short walk across the hills brings us to Domino, at the entrance 
to Domino Run. This is a section of the coast which has special 
attractions for the geologist, as it gave a name to a formation known 
as "Domino Gneiss." 

This formation, which is first seen at the eastern extremity of the 
Island of Ponds, on which Domino is located, is presumably the 
formation which some geologists have named Labradorian. 


"going north." 

Doiiiiiio Klin to Indian Harbor. 
"1 hear the howl of the wind that brings 
The long, drear storm on its heavy wings." 

("The West \Mnd," ^^'ILLIAM Cullen Bryant.) 

Domino Run (Latitude 53 degrees 29 minutes 
DO]\nXO RUX. north, longitude 55 degrees 46 minutes west) 
was seemingly the "landfall" of the Icelandic 
discoverers of the tenth century. It tallies admirably with the de- 
scription of "Helluland." Domino Harbor, at the entrance to the 
"Run," is a broad, deep fissure which nearly divides the Island of 
Ponds in two. The plain which stretches away to the westward is 
worn smoothly ; scattered over it are patches of cobblestones, which 
indicate that it was once a raised ocean bottom, now at least 125 feet 
high, which reached to the base of the angular masses of trap rock 
capping the gneiss elevation. 

When you strip off the scattered masses of matted growth of 
curlew berry and cranberry (Partridge berry), the smooth, wave- 
worn, pebbly surface seems as if it was but yesterday won from 
the dominion of the sea. There is not a tree or a bush to be seen 
in anv direction. 

Lying to the north of Domino Run and 
SPOTTED ISLAXD. forming its northern boundary is Spotted 
Island (the breadth of the "Run" here 
being five cables — approximately, half a sea mile). The island is 
about four miles long, with an average breadth of one mile and a 
half, and its summit has an elevation of three hundred feet. It 
derives its name presumably from the peculiar formation visible on 
its eastern side, an alternation of black and white cliffs. The sea- 
ward side of the island is composed of trap rock, and on the west 
the gneiss rock is low and very slopy towards the channel which 



separates it from the Island of Ponds. Going ashore and ascending 
one of the trap hills, evidently the remnants of an old volcanic 
crater rising out of the surrounding gneiss, you get a splendid view 
of the whole island, which is dotted with trap hills rising out of the 
gneiss plain. At intervals you see numerous shallow pools and lakes 
sunk in the peat formation which overlays the gneiss. It is low 
and fiat compared with the coast farther south, while northward 
this lowland or basin stretches away for several miles. 

Spotted Island must have originally been settled by Irishmen, as 
Griffin's Harbor, ravincr's Cove and Doolcy's Ledge were named 
by fishermen who proscoutecl the fishery here in bygone days. The 
little island which forms its eastern boundary- is known as Castle 
Dermot, and Grog Island is in the immediate precincts. 

A KAVAK. Copyright, Outing Pub. Co. 

Grog was a regular institution on the Labrador "Rooms" in diebus 
illis; and the old planters usually kept a barrel of rum on the prem- 
ises for the use of the crews, who received their daily " 'lowance" 
as regularly as the jackies of H. M. warships received their noggin. 

A signal act of heroism is recorded of Spotted Island during the 
terrible gale of October 9. 1867. Captain William Jackman, the 
veteran seal killer and master mariner of St. John's, saved by his 
almost superhuman bravery twenty-seven lives. No greater act of 


heroism than this has ever been recorded of the coast of Labrador. 
In recognition of his bravery Captain Jackman was presented with 
a medal and parchment by the Royal Humane Society in 1868. 

GrifHn's Harbor, which is situated on the northeast corner of 
Spotted Island, was originally settled by Irishmen from St. John's — 
"The Riverhead men," as they were usually called. They were 
a sturdy lot, and some of their descendants are still prosecuting the 
fishery on the coast. 

A Httle cove on the southeast corner of the island is remarkable 
for its splendid "skin boots" ; they are superior to any other make 
and are much sought after by sealers. The few families of settlers 
there seem to possess the secret of this trade, and their products are 
in constant demand. This little cove has a "barter shop" which 
does an extensive business. 

Our next landfall was Indian Tickle, ten miles to the westward of 
Griffin's Harbor, and our journey was not an agreeable one. 

Everything in the vicinity of Spotted Island seems Irish, even the 
weather ; for soon after we left Griffin's Harbor, with a splendid 
crew^ of "Riverhead men," we ran into an Irishman's hurricane — 
"plenty of rain, but no wind." It rained for the entire trip, and 
when we reached Indian Tickle we were literally soaking with water. 

Indian Tickle lies betw^een Musgrave Land, 
INDIAN TICKLE, on the west, and Indian Island, on the east, 
and was formerly a very important settle- 
ment. In early days it had a large "room," owned and operated 
by Warren, of London, England. Wlien Warren retired from 
business on the coast, the "room" passed into the hands of Captain 
Hennebury, of Port-de-Grave, who "made piles of money there." 

Across the "run," at White Point, the northern end of the 
"Tickle," a lighthouse has recently been erected by the Newfound- 
land government, and it is doubtless a boon and a blessing to the 
thousands of fishermen who frequent these shores. It is a white, 
square tower, exhibiting a white occulting light, which is visible in 
clear weather for a distance of twelve miles. We were "stalled" at 
the "Tickle" for a while, as the only available means of reaching 
our next port of call (Grady) was the mail steamer — Windsor Lake 
— due from the south "at any time." 


She arrived within a couple of days, and we were glad to meet 
again our old friend Captain Drake and the genial mail officer who 
had a large bundle of mail to our address. 

Needless to say that no time was lost in devouring the contents 
of the bundle. Ere the contents had been examined we had crossed 
Table Bay, passed MnUin's Cove, and had reached Black Island, the 
outpost of Grady. Within an hour the ship had anchored, and we 
were soon under the hospitable roof of the kindly manager of the 
Grady "room" — Mr. McRae. Grady has an extensive fishing plant, 
and it is "headquarters" for fishing vessels on middle Labrador. 
Grady Island, on which the plant is located, is a forbidding place. It 
rises to a height of nearly four hundred feet, and on its summit is a 
large caini of stones. These cairns, of which there are several along 
the coast, are called by fishermen. " 'Merican men." These cairns 
serve as landmarks for the fishing schooners, many of which are 
captained by men who have little knowledge of navigation, but who 
possess a nautical instinct which compensates for the lack of "book 
arnin . 

Numbers of these schooners have no charts, and they are navi- 
gated by the "rule of thumb." They rarely run at night, and a 
kind Providence has so fashioned the coast of Labrador that harbors 
are found at the end of every day's run. It is not unusual to see 
a hundred and fifty of these little schooners at Assizes' Harbor, at 
Domino, Dumplin or some other rendezvous at one time. When 
these schooners are running in the daytime you see a man in the 
forerigging who directs the movements of the vessel ; and if you 
are within hailing distance you will hear him shout at times, "Keep 
'er away a bit," or "luft up." How these schooners escape disaster 
on the coast is a mystery to me. 

Grady has an interesting but doleful history. It seems to be the 
storm centre of the coast ; it has been visited by dreadful gales, 
and no other harbor on the coast has such a record of disasters. 
The last great storm visited it in 1885 and the death toll was ap- 

Two English firms did business here in the early days of the last 
century — Hunt & Henley and King & Larmour, of Plymouth. Grady 
is said to have derived its name from the "gready proclivities" of 
these fishing Shylocks. 


They certainly were a most exacting lot, these old merchants ; 
hence, doubtless, the name given to the place by Newfoundland 
fishermen who first visited it about 1830. 

Through the courtesy of the agent I was able to make an ex- 
cursion to Cape North and Cui'lcn' — two localities not usually seen 
by the tourist or visitor to the coast. 

Cape North is a peculiarly-shaped headland 
CAPE NORTH, about four hundred feet high ; it is really an 
( isolated hill connected with the mainland by 

a flat marsh which lies between two shallow coves. It is faced with 
rude, jagged, trap rocks and within, it is composed of gneiss. On 
the south side is a low. raised beach of very remarkable structure. 
An island stands like a sentinel to the northeastward of the cape, 
and it is not discernible as such until you are quite near it. 

Curlew Hai'bo}-^ so called from the pres- 
CURLEW HARBOR, ence there in large number of the bird 

which bears this name, is a splendid 
roadstead, and it was at one time a favorite resort for Conception 
Bay fishermen. It has a tragic history, and was the scene of a ter- 
rible marine disaster in 1867, when a vessel owned by Captain 
Delaney, with twenty-nine souls on board, was lost there ; in the 
gale of 1885 there was also great loss of life. A remarkable inci- 
dent occurred during the gale : a vessel was blown "into the woods," 
fully two hundred feet from the beach, and next day she was hauled 
back to the harbor, uninjured. In the bottom of the harbor are still 
visible the skeletons of some of the vessels lost in the earlier part 
of 1867. ^^^ wishing to spend the night among such lugubrious 
surroundings, we "made" Long Island just as the sun was setting. 
And such a sight ! Labrador sunsets are superlatively lovely, but 
I do not remember ever having witnessed anything more beautiful 
than on this occasion. It was perfectly calm ; away in the dis- 
tance was the dim outline of the mountains across Sandzvich Bay, 
and in the near foreground lay Huntingdon Island, bathed in sun- 
shine. It was truly a marvelous spectacle, as 

"The dying light. 
Ere it departed, swathed each mountain height 


In robes of purple ; and adovvn the west, 

Where sea and sky seemed niingHng — breast to breast — 

Drew the dense barks of ponderous clouds, and spread 

A mantle o'er them of royal red. 

Belted with purple — lined with amber — tinged 

With fiery gold — and b]u>liing-purple fringed." 

At Long Island we received a hearty welcome from the proprietor 
of the "room," and we felt chc:: nous under Captain Dalton's hos- 
pitable roof. 

The following day was stormy, and after the "stations" there was 
time to glean something of the history of this exceptionally fine 

Long Island was established by the firm of Hunt and Henley 
about 1830, after their removal from Henley Harbor. It was a 
valuable salmon post, and they did a large and lucrative trade. Hunt 
and Henley had a special "packet" plying between Nain and Long 
Island which collected their produce and conveyed the crews to 
the salmon posts and fishing rooms. They conducted a system of 
fishery which is no longer known on the coast of Labrador, and their 
fishermen were known as "gentlemen sharemen." These "gentle- 
men sharemen" received no wages ; they paid for their "keep" and 
supplies and retained all the fish caught. It was not unusual in these 
days for a boat to secure four hundred quintals, or two hundred 
quintals per man. This catch was sold to Hunt and Henley at one 
shilling less than the "current price." Needless to say, the firm 
"coined money" ; they took no chances, but reaped a certain harvest. 

The island itself is a very interesting study for the geologist, but 
we had little time for work of this kind, so we started at the earliest 
possible moment for a trip across Blackguard Bay to Cartmright. 

Cartzvright to-day is a Hudson Bay "post," 
CARTWRIGHT. and the magic symbol, H. B. C, is everywhere 
in evidence. "What a wealth of history is 
hidden beneath these magic letters!" says a recent writer. 

Yes, and what a record of exactions they unfold ! "Lo, the poor 
Indian" and the hapless liveyere ! 

The settlement which lies in Sandwich Bay was established by 
the gallant IMajor Cartwright, whose name is already familiar. He 



had grown tired of competition with hated rivals in the little settle- 
ment of Cape Charles, so he bade farewell to the southern settle- 
ment "to protect and befriend the natives of these benighted re- 

So runneth the inscription on the monument found within the 
precincts of his former place of business. But George Cartwright's 
object was none other than trade. This he pursued successfully; 
and after the transfer of his interests on "dreary" Labrador to Hunt 
and Henley (who later sold out to the Hudson Bay Company), Cart- 
wrie'ht returned to Enoland with a handsome fortune. 


The H. B. C.'s plant at Cartimight consists of several well-kept 
houses and stores, and everything around the premises suggests neat- 
ness and order. In the store of the company you may purchase 
everything (except furs). The Pelterie is sent across the water, 
and often sold at prices which would astonish the unsophisticated 
natives who gathered these trophies from the wilds. At Cartwright 
there is a neat Anglican church. At present there is no resident min- 
ister, but a school is in operation (the schoolmaster performing the 
duties of a lay reader when necessary). 


From Cartii'vight wc proceeded to Independent, passing the 
northeast point of Huntington Island en route. This island is an 
immense mass of trap about five hundred feet hi^h ; and in the cove 
may be seen an ever-green growth of small glaucous willows and 
larches. The famous rendezvous called DiinipUn is located on the 
east side of Huntington Island, and it is said to have been christened 
by an old fisherman who found several specimens of "stoggers" float- 
ing in the harbor. "Stoggers" and "Alexanders" are huge balls of 
dough. I was really unaware that fisherman's dnnipUngs would 
float. Any of them which I saw during my Labrador visits were 
more like cannon balls than articles of food. Dumplings and "dufif" 
(dough) are pretty hard propositions, but as an old father remarked 
to me many years ago when relating some of his Labrador experi- 
ences : "Faix, they are not bad when you're hungry." One real- 
izes the truth of the little phrase which puzzles the youthful climber 
of Parnassus: fames optimum condimentnm, when trying to dine ofif 
"stoggers." The "sauce" served with the paste-ball is known as 
"Codey." I have not been able to ascertain the origin of this com- 
modity. At Dnmplin there is splendid salmon-trout fishing; in the 
larger pools which abound on the island, there is said to be an abun- 
dance of mud-trout. We arrived at our destination — Independent — 
just in time for the "mug-up." This is the eleven o'clock collation 
which precedes the fishermen's dinner. We were glad to be in the 
land of plenty, as a five hours' journey in a trap-skiff develops an 
abnormal appetite. 

Independent is located on an island of the 

INDEPENDENT, same name, and is a fairly safe harbor. 

Plere there is a phenomenon rarely seen on 

the coast — an islet actually covered with a growth of grass-green 

vegetation. At Independent we had very comfortable quarters 

amongst some parishioners of former years. 

From Independent to Pack's Harbor is only a short journey, and 
we were there betimes next morning. 

Pack's Harbor is situated in a "tickle," 

PACK'S HARBOR, between Henrietta and Pack's Island, and 

it owes its name to the fact that the first 

settlers here were dealers of the firm of Pack, Gosse & Fryer, 


merchants of Carbonear and Porte-de-Grave. Henrietia Island 
is also named after a member of the family of Pack. Here I 
had an opportunity to see some old fishing accounts ; they were 
certainly very interesting, and were further evidence, if such were 
needed, that some of the old mercantile firms of Newfoundland had 
no conscientious scruples when there was question of "fishing-ac- 
count prices." 

For example: i gross hooks (cash 45 cents), charged $1.50; 
I barrel flour (cash $5.00), charged $11.00; i barrel pork (cash 
$17.00), charged $40.00. 

The original account is i s. d., but we have given the amount in 
the present standard. Other things were, as an old fisherman re- 
marked, "fifty times worse." Little wonder then that the ancient 
merchant grew rich, whilst the hardy toiler remained the "hewer of 
wood and drawer of water." 

It seemed as if our visit to Pack's 
:\IEALY MOUNTAINS. Harbor were to be indefinitely pro- 
longed, as our next mission — Indian 
Harbor — was nearly fifty miles distant ; but on the day following the 
"Stations," a trim two-topmast schooner hove in sight. It was 
the Government Revenue Cutter Rose, bound for Hamilton Inlet. 
The captain very kindly offered me a "passage" across the bay, and 
as I had seen Rigolette under very unfavorable circumstances during 
former visits I was glad to have an opportunity to see more of this 
famous Hudson Bay post. We had a delightful trip, and as we 
passed some distance from shore, we had a splendid view of the 
Mealy Mountains. This chain extends from Saiidzcich Bay to 
Hamilton Inlet, and some of its hills are said to be more than two 
thousand feet in height. The range runs in a northwest direction. 
To the highest peak of this range, the name Mt. Cabot was given 
by Dr. Packard many years ago. We passed within close range of 
Mount Porcupine, whose double-peaked summit rises to a height 
of nearly four hundred feet. This is sometimes called by fishermen 
"Sandy Beach Hill," as the beaches on both sides of it are composed 
of fine gray sand. Ten miles north of this promontory we passed 
an island which bears the name Tumble-down-Dick . Whence the 
name? History sayeth not. It is a conspicuous formation, and it 


has a perfectly round hillock at its summit. One of the most 
peculiar headlands seen on the coast was seen en route; a lofty basal- 
tic cliff with human profile, the nose distinctly Roman and the fore- 
head retreating. It forms the outer point of "Horsechops." 

Near the northern point of the "Horsechops" is a small, low, flat 
island, named after one of the most enterprising of Newfoundland 
planters — Captain William Munden, of Brigus. Captain Munden 
was "one of the most remarkable personalities" of his time. He 
carried on an extensive fishery at Partridge Harbor ; and his 
"catches" were phenomenal. Captain Munden was the first to em- 
ploy a large vessel in the prosecution of the seal-fishery. 

He built the "Four Brothers," 104 tons, at Brigus, in 1819, 
naming her after his four sons, one of whom, Captain Azariah Mun- 
den, brought in the largest trip of seals, according to the tonnage 
of the steamer, which has ever been recorded. This vessel — "The 
Four Brothers" — was the wonder of her time; and it was believed by 
old skippers that she would never be able to turn round in the ice 
on account of her size. These prophecies came to naught, as she 
was most fortunate. The old schooner "Four Brothers" lasted for 
many years, and after Captain William Munden's death his son 
rebuilt her and renamed her after his own three daughters. As 
the "Three Sisters" the vessel also had a very successful career. 
.\ photograph of this remarkable vessel is reproduced in a former 
chapter through the courtesy of a grandson of Captain Munden, 
W. A, Munn, Esq., of St. John's, Newfoundland. 

The wind had increased to a "strong blow," and the tide was set- 
ting out of Ha}iiilfO]i. Inlet, so we anchored at George's Island, which 
stands at the entrance to Hamilton Inlet, about five miles north of 

Tub Island. 

This island, named doubtless when 

GEORGE'S ISLAND. "George III was King," is what fisher- 
men term a "double-bar'ld" one, and is 
made up of two hills, one of which trends northward ; the other 
trending east-by-south. The land rises in this vicinity to a great 
height, possibly eight hundred feet, and the coasts of the island are 
steep and precipitous. We anchored in the South-east Cove. Away 
to the southeast of our harbor is situated "The Reef of Norman's 



This section of tlie coast was much frequented in early }'ears by 
American fishermen, and an American tourist suggests that it is 
just possible that some sailor whose home was on the Massachu- 
setts coast named it after the reef which America's favorite poet 
has immortalized in "The Wreck of the Hesperus." But a more 
prosaic origin is claimed by Newfoundland fishermen. The ledges 

<——»»' " p I III "'f ' 

AN ESQUIMAUX MISSION. CopyrigJit, A. p. Lozv. 

here were the favorite fishing grounds of Captain Nathan Norman 
of Brigus, a celebrated sealer, who was one of the first southerners 
to locate north of Hamilton Inlet, having settled at Indian Harbor 
about 1835. He conducted the largest fishing business on the coast, 
employing 250 fishermen, and shore crews besides. 

Captain Norman was one of the most successful planters who ever 
did business on the coast, and he was universally esteemed. He 
was, so I have been informed, an intimate friend, though a trade 
rival, of the present Lord Strathcona — then plain Donald Smith — 
factor of the Hudson Bay Company, at Rigolette. 

The captain is said to have been the first to use a trap on the 
coast of Labrador. It is also claimed that he first used cod seines; 
but from evidence in my possession, this is not the case, as seines 


were first used by IMassachusetts fishermen who frequented northern 
Labrador nearly a hundred years ago. 

Hamilton Inlet {Ivncktoke of the Esqui- 

H A MILTON INLET, maux) was discovered by Davis, after 

whom Davis Inlet and Davis Strait are 
named, in 1586. To Davis we owe the most exact knowledge of the 
Labrador coast, until modern times. 

Davis, in the Moonshine, left Greenland, August ist, 1586. She 
crossed the strait from Lat. 66° 33' in nearly a due westerly direc- 
tion. The 14th August she was near Cape Wahingham in latitude 
66° 19' on the American side. It was then too late for anything 
more than a summary survey of the coast. The rest of the month, 
and the first days of September, were spent in exploration. Be- 
sides the already known openings, namely, Cumberland Strait, Fro- 
bisher's Strait, and Hudson Strait, two more openings were found, 
Davis Inlet in 56 and Iziicktoke Inlet in 54° 30'. Davis crossed the 
Atlantic in a wretched little craft, and he performed the voyage in 
the face of the equinoctial gales, in three weeks. He reached Eng- 
land again in the beginning of October, 1586. 

At daybreak of the morning following our arrival at George's 
Island we started up Hamilton Inlet, the largest and the most im- 
portant fiord on the Atlantic coast of Labrador. 

Newfoundland fishermen call this inlet Grosn'Oter Bay; this evi- 
dently indicates earlier visitations, by Frenchmen. From reliable 
sources I have discovered that even previous to an establishment of 
a Hudson Bay post in this section, French fishermen and traders reg- 
ularly visited Ivucktoke inlet. The names are sufficient evidence to 
W'arrant this conclusion in the absence of other proofs ; for we find 
"Carticr Basin," "Double Mcr" (the appellation of a peculiar bay 
on the north side) and other names which indicate French settle- 
ments. Presumably, the inlet was at one time frequented by trap- 
pers and fishermen in the employ of the "Quebec Trading Com- 
pany." It is rather significant that within recent years French 
traders are again frequenting the ancient haunts of their fellow- 
countrymen ; and the Revillion P)rothers of Paris have now a large 
establishment (a formidable rival to the Hudson Bay Company) at 
North-zvest River. 


Ho)>iiIfon Inlet extends westward from George's Island about 
thirty-five miles to the "Narrows" ; and within the "Narrows," it 
extends westward ninety miles, opening to a width of eighteen miles 
in Lake Meh'ille; and narrowing again at Sandy Point it opens into 
an inlet named "Goose Cove." Three large rivers empty into the 
fiord, the Kenamou, the Naskopi, and the Grand or Hamilton. 
The inlet is navigable for steamers of large tonnage. 

At Rigolctte, where we anchored, is situated the largest Hudson 
Bay post on the Atlantic seaboard. The "Post" consists of half 
dozen or more buildings, all connected by a board walk with a white 
painted railing. Besides the company's plant there are few smaller 
houses and some shacks in the near neighborhood. A particular 
interest attaches to Rigolette, as it was here the present Lord Strath- 
cona laid the foundations of the immense fortune which he now so 
wisely and judiciously spends in philanthropic enterprises. 

The statt at Rigolette consist of a factor, some clerks, and packers 
who receive the products of the natives and "liveyeres," and issue 

Loitering around the premises were several half-breeds, and 
others with a larger quantum of Esquimaux characteristics; they 
were a poor, impoverished-looking lot of humanity, types presumably 
of the race developed by such enterprises as the "Company of Trad- 
ing Adventurers." 

The dogs, of which there were several, seemed better fed, and a 
happier looking class than the human specimens which bear the 
hall-mark of servitude. 

Dogs ? Oh, yes ; they are a necessity in these parts ; they simply 
need to be fed, and kicked when occasion requires. Dogs are 
an important feature in the economics of Labrador; they are the 
only means of locomotion in winter ; and every family must pos- 
sess a team, if possible. The Esquimaux dog (canis familiaris, 
Say) which plays an important part along the coast, has savage 
instincts and wolfish mien. Robbie Burns seems to have had some 
acquaintance with this canine specimen, as he says in — "Twa Dogs" : 
"His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs. 
Showed he was nane o' Scotland's dogs. 
But whalpit some place far abroad * 

Where fishers gang to fish for cod." 


The Esqiiiniaiix clo<^ is usually of a mottled black and white color; 
but sometimes of a tawny yellowish hue (duckedy-nuul color, it is 
termed by Newfoundland fishermen), as larf:;e as a mastiff, with a 
fine bushy tail, and a sharp-pointed muzzle. He is decidedly vicious; 
and when hungry, will feast off anything in sight. A writer wdiose 
sentimentality is much in evidence, says : "The Esquimaux dog is 
surly and obstinate, because the treatment of him is of such a kind 
as not to develop the nobler parts of his moral nature." Presumably 
this writer's knowledge of the Esquimaux breed was acquired from 
very limited acquaintance with these brutes. His experience was 
certainly not such as ours has been. Esquimaux dogs are dangerous 
animals to be handled by any other than their masters ; and even 
then the greatest care must be exercised. 

As long ago as 1818, Chappell ("Cruise of the Rosamund"') 
wrote : "They have been frequently known to devour the unpro- 
tected children of their masters"; and recently, at Cartwright, an 
incident proves that this ferocious animal has not become more mild 
in disposition than his progenitors. 

A son of Mr. Swaffield, manager for the Hudson Bay Company 
at Cartwright, about six years old, was last year being torn to 
pieces by one of these brutes, when he was rescued from their fangs, 
by Mrs. Swaffield. The little fellow was dreadfully lacerated; but 
under the care of Dr. Grenfcll, he made an excellent recovery. 

At Hebron, not long since, a young girl was almost devoured 
by dogs in the absence of her parents; and a woman was so seri- 
ously mangled by them that she died of her wounds. 

The taste for human flesh once acquired is never totally destroyed 
in these brutes. "Cave cancui" is good Latin, and excellent advice 
when in the neighborhood of the Labrador dogs. 

At Rigolette we were constantly under the guidance of one of the 
staff; and we took no chances with the canines. I had an experience 
some years ago, at Chateau, with Labrador dogs, which resulted in 
a large tailor's bill and sundry pieces of sticking plaster, so I gave 
the Rigolette team a "wide berth." An old settler once told me that 
if these dogs "look ugly," a sure means of scaring them off is to 
assume some abnormal attitude, such as standing on your head, or 
zvalking on all-fours. I have never tried the experiment; but I 
understand it is very effective. 



Everything around Rigolette is "as neat as wax." The office or 
"counting house," as it was known in ancient days, is of the con- 
servative EngHsh type ; and the store is large and well equipped ; 
and the "fur-room" is a place where one is disposed to become 
envious, as the array ( f foxes, otters and martens is large. The 
home of the factor is a commodious and well appointed one, fur- 
nished witii better taste than many of our city mansions. The 
personnel of the establishment is urbanity itself; and the only evi- 
dent dark spot in the landscape is the extreme servility of the 
"liveveres" and others who constitute t'le ])opulation of the localitv. 




tka^^u ^^H 

1 -'^:." 

» ^ 





:.-<•£?*.. ..# 

ESQUIMAUX TYPES. C'olyyright, Outing Pub. Co. 

Our visit was all too brief ; but there was work for the representa- 
tive of H. jNI. Customs at a port near the mouth of the inlet : so next 
morning "ere Phoebus 'gins arise," we were drifting down the 
stream with the ebb tide. It was very romantic, this matutinal 
departure. There was just light enough to see the dim outline of 
the wooded banks of the north shore ; and then suddenlv. 

"Night's candles are burnt out. and jocund day 
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops," 

and then "large and luminous up from the sea" rose the sun. It 
was a spectacle never-to-be-forgotten. 

At noon we dropped anchor at Ice Tickle, one of a cluster of 



islands forniintj the northern entrance to Hamilton Inlet. The 
island on which the settlement is located is very striking; it rises to 
a heic^ht of nearly three hundred feet on the southern side; and on 
its northern extremity arc two peaked hills with precipitous fronts 
fully three hundred and fifty feet to their summits. 

Ice Tickle is so called hecausc ice remains here longer in spring- 
time than at any other point in this section. We reached Indian 
Harbor before sundown, and anchored within hailinrj distance of the 


headquarters of the M. D. S. F. Indian Harbor is an interesting 
locality. The island in which it is situated is one of the large 
Archipelago, known as the "White Bear" group ; and the names of 
some of the islands in this group are very singular. Amongst 
others we find such jiames as Rodney Mnnday Island, The Cubs, 
Baccalao Island; and one that bears a rather sanguinary appellation 
"Cut-throat" — all suggestive of the hunt or fishery. At the head of 
Indian Harbor, and especially well marked on the southwest, is a 
shingly beach fully two hundred feet high, located between two 
hills ; its surface is absolutely free from vegetation, and it looks as 
if the water had only receded from it the night before ; it is divided 
into two steep terraces, the lower one being fully fifty feet above the 



harbor ! The summits of ihe hills surrounding it are formed of a 
pale foliated syenite, with scattered specks of hornblende, while 
lower down on the sides of the rock is a very dark gneiss, slightly 

Indian Harbor "Room" w'as established by Captain Norman, of 
whom mention has already been made, in the days when "Cod-oil 
was £54 a ton and Port \\'ine was a shilling a bottle. Quantum ah 
illis mutant ur temporal" 

Here is located a hospital which is conducted by the Royal Mission 
to Deep Sea Fishermen, whose superintendent is Dr. Grenfell. 

It is a neat, substantial building similar to that at Battle Harbor. 
Whilst here I had the sad duty to perform of assisting at the death- 
bed of two of my parishioners ; and later, of aiding the genial Dr. 
Wilway to prepare the remains for transportation to Newfound- 
land. Both of these patients had received the most kindly treatment 
at the hands of the hospital staff ; and it is only on such occasions 
as this that one can appreciate the usefulness of these institutions. 

This hospital receives a small annual subsidy from the Newfound- 
land Government; but its usefulness would be materially increased 
if the subsidy w-ere larger. Its chief support is provided by Dr. 
Grenfell's enterprise. 

Here we parted company with the captain of the "Rose" and the 
revenue officer; and we were en route early next morning 
to Smoky, the medical officer of the hospital having placed at our 
disposal the "Princess May"- — the little steam launch of the Mission. 







" 'Tis pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures, 
And all are to be sold, if you consider 
Their passions, and are dextrous." 

"The Task/' CowpER. 

Smoky Tickle is a locality which has gained 

SMOKY TICKLE, rather unenviable notoriety within recent 
times ; and it was here that one of the stir- 
ring incidents related in Norman Duncan's volume, "Dr. Luke of 
the Labrador," occurred. The court records of Newfoundland con- 
tain the history of this famous episode ; and it were not charitable 
now to resurrect the case. It is rather a coincidence, that within 
near distance of Smoky there is a bay which is said to have been 
the rendezvous of Captain Kidd, the notorious buccaneer; and the 
hulk of a vessel which might be seen in the beach there some years 
ago is said to have been one of the ships of that notorious pirate. 
It is also said that some of the pirate's gold was found in the bay 
some years ago; and an old planter, who died recently, told me that 
he had seen, or possessed some of the doubloons which had been 
picked up in Pottles Bay. It is a fact that the old gentleman in 
question had acquired considerable wealth in a mysterious way ; 
whence it came has ever been a matter of conjecture. 

In the rear of the harbor is an elevation rejoicing in the name of 
"Mount Shakespeare" ; but there is no tradition that the Bard of 
Avon ever made a voyage to these regions. 

Near Smoky are two settlements — Cut-throat and Splitting-knife 
— suggestive, not of bloodthirsty settlers, but of the fishing industry. 

The former suggests a double-bladed weapon, not unlike a stiletto ; 
and the latter a curved knife used so dexterously by the "splitter" 
(the best paid man amongst a fishing crew). 

Cut-throat is by no means an evil looking 
CUT-THROAT, place ; it is even an attractive locality. It is sit- 
uated on an island which has a fiat summit, 
and is one of the most interesting geologic formations on the coast. 


It was in former years a favorite resort for Curlew ; and here I often 
secured splendid bags of this delicious bird i)i dicbiis ilHs. I am not 
sure that any will be found there at this dale, as the breed seems to 
have reached the last stage of extinction on Labrador. 

We had another place on our 
WHITE BEAR ISLANDS, missionary itinerary— J F/n7^ Bear 

Islands — by no means an attract- 
ive spot; but needs must that we visit it; and a crew from Cut-throat 
landed me there late one afternoon in August. The islands are 
said to have been favorite haunts of the White Bear in former years ; 
and an island near by, The Cubs, owes its name to the discovery 
there of the breeding place of Master Bruin. Here there reigned in 
former years a "king," whose history were an interesting mono- 
graph. No monarch ever wielded such autocratic power ; but withal 
his "looks were full of peaceful majesty." This man "who knew no 
letters, and never wrote a line," was one of the most extraordinary 
characters with whom I ever came in contact. He never kept 
accounts for his servants; but he never made a mistake in his deal- 
ings with them. He conducted a business such as would gladden 
the heart of an ordinary city merchant; and never used scales or 
measures. It were indelicate to discuss his personality ; he was one 
of the "ole fellers" and didn't believe in bath-tubs or unnecessary 

Some extraordinary stories are told of the old "King of the 
Bears" ; and most of them are founded on fact. He possessed a 
marvellous memory ; and if he had had such educational opportuni- 
ties as the younger generation, he would perhaps have become a 
local Gladstone. His "dealings" with "the merchant" amounted 
to several thousand pounds annually; and the annual account was 
sometimes yards long (this is not exaggeration; there was no "loose 
leaf" ledger system in those days). At "winding-up time," "the 
king" was always invited into the sanctum of the "firm" and the 
itemized account was submitted for his approval. His memory was 
such that any item which he did not order personally was always 
questioned ; and the manager of the firm had such regard for the 
"king's" integrity and mnemonic powers that the disputed article 
was invariably written off the account. 


He never kept books, of course ; but he "alwus carr'd the 'counts 
in his head." He never weighed a pound of goods, never measured 
a yard of stuff; but his quantities were invariably correct. It is 
said that his standards of weight and measurement were a "beach- 
rock" and a "flour-barrel stave." His charities were as large as his 
memory was extraordinary ; and he never refused an appeal for aid. 
He earned thousands of pounds during his career ; but he spent it 
lavishly on others. 

He had rather singular ideas of seamanship ; and, it is said, that 
on one occasion the man at the wheel asked him the "course" after 
running out clear of Baccalieu Island en route to Labrador; the 
response was : "Kep er same as she went las' yer." This was a 
rather unique way of directing a ship ; but the seamen understood 
him, and acted accordingly. 

The entourage of the "room" at the "Bears" was never remark- 
able for its prodigality in the use of soap and water ; nor was the 
culinary department run on such lines as a modern hotel. 

A terrible marine tragedy occurred at White Bear Islands in 1884, 
one of the saddest recorded in the history of the coast of Labrador. 
Two vessels, the Release and the Hope, were driven from their 
moorings in the gale of 9th October, and 39 persons were drowned. 
An eye-witness of this disaster has furnished me with a description 
of this dreadful tragedy ; but it is too gruesome to insert here. 

Our sojourn at the Bears was of short duration ; and next day 
we were at Brig Harbor, having made the trip in a "jack" which 
was en route to Emily Harbor for salt. 

Brig Harbor received its name from fisher- 
BRIG HARBOR, men who frequented the place about sixty 
years ago. It seems that an old brig be- 
longing to Captain Strapp of Harbor Main was moored there every 
summer, "close to the rocks," and before a "room" was built the old 
vessel served the purpose of residence, store and stage, whilst the 
"bawns" near by served the purpose of "flakes." Hence the name 
"Brig Harbor." The harbor is located in a small "bight" between 
two islands, one of which is a truncated cone, 350 feet high. 

At the time of our visit "the fish was eating the rocks" (this is a 
fisherman's term for plentifulness). The creeks and coves were 


filled with Caplin ; and fishermen were reaping an abundant harvest. 

I had never seen Caplin in such quantities ; and uld fishermen 
assured nie that "the likes had never been seen afore." Caplin are 
the most abundant fish around the shores of Newfoundland and 
Labratlor ; and during the "caplin scull" (school) trap fishing is 
at its best. 

They are taken by the thousand barrels during the latter part of 
June on the Newfoundland coast ; and used as fertilizer by the fisher- 
men-farmers. When fresh, caplin are splendid "eatin' " ; and, if 
smoked slightly, are very toothsome. They are sometimes sold for 
five cents a barrel ; but a recent writer says he paid thirty cents for 
three fried caplin on linard a Newfoundland coastal steamer, not 
long since. 


Smoked caplin are highly prized by saloon keepers in the neigh- 
boring republic ; and I am informed that around Hanover Street 
and lower Atlantic Avenue, in Boston, they are very much in evi- 
dence on the counters of the beer-bars ; they are used "to raise a 

Some years ago, in Newfoundland, an enterprising fish-merchant 
began what promised to be a splendid venture ; he packed caplin 
in oil, after the manner of sardines; but whether the demand did not 
warrant the outlay, or whether the industry was managed too ex- 
travagantly the packing-business was not a commercial success. 


In connection with this Httle hait-fish, a problem for naturahsts 
presents itself; its solution means a great deal to the fishing' industry 
of Labrador. 

Seventy years ago no capi'm zccrc found on Northern Labrador; 
but to-day they are found jilentifuUy. Fish is less plentiful on the 
upper part of the shore than in former times. Is this due to the 
migration of caplin to the north; and if so, what is the cause of this 
migration ? Has there been a change in the morainal deposits of the 
southern part of the coast ; and to what cause must this be attributed ? 
The solution of these questions would be a valuable acquisition to 
piscatorial literature. 

But we have nearly forgotten Brig Harbor. Owing to the im- 
mense catch of fish there was a salt famine. Fortunately for the 
fishermen, a vessel laden with this necessary article had just arrived 
from Cadiz; and there was an abundance of salt at Emily. Boats 
were going in this direction every day ; and I availed of the first 
opportunity to reach the next port on my itinerary. 

En route to Emily there is a rather singular syenitic island known 
as the White Cockade, so called from its shape. Two other islands 
known as The Coffee Island and The Teapot are situated between 
the JJ'hite Coekade and the shore; they are rather interesting both 
in shape and formation. Some fishermen in former times must 
have been lunching in the locality, and named them after the 

Emily Harbor is a large fishing centre, and 
EAHLY HARBOR, owes its appellation to a planter named 
\\'arren who named it in memory of his 
wife, whose remains are interred in Reynolds' Cove, near by. 

Emily, too, was "busy" ; and, in order to reach the crews located 
here it was necessary to remain over Sunday ; and such an inspiring 
day it was ! The place was gay with bunting ; and when the hour 
came for Mass, over three hundred fishermen were in waiting. Such 
a reverential body of people ! How eagerly they listen to the ser- 
mon ! And then, the hearty shake hands, from these noble sons of 
toil ! This is one of the features which lend such a charm to mis- 
sionary visits to Labrador. At the evening service the same congre- 
gation was present, with the addition of many who were not 


members of our communion. It was a pretty picture to see the large 
llotilla of lishing-smacks move down the harljor when my congre- 
gation left for their homes; for many of them had come miles to 
assist at the Sunday services. 

Monday found us at Holton; and the same cordial welcome 
awaited us. 

This settlement is peopled with settlers from Con- 
HOLTOX. ception Bay; and from this section the largest ex- 

portations of fish from the coast of Labrador an- 
nually are made by the firm of Dawe Brothers of Bay Roberts. 
Their annual averai^e exportation is very large (amounting, in 
1907, to seventy-six thousand quintals, valued at a quarter of a 
niiUion dollars'). Holt 011 possesses a unique institution — an undc- 
)io)iiiiiatioiial Church, built by the late Hon. Charles Dawe, of Bay 
Roberts, Newfoundland. This Church, strange to say, is rarely, if 
ever, used. Undenominational Christianity does not thrive among 
the fishermen of the Old Colony, "who go down to the sea in ships." 

Horse Harbor, another large fishing cen- 
HORSE HARBOR, tre, is situated near Holton; and it is set- 
tled chiefly by "dealers" of the concern 
which operates so largely in Holton. It is known to fishermen as 
"a rough shop" (not the firm, but the Harbor) ; and it has an evil 
reputation for wrecks and storms. 

A fishing schooner bound north in quest of the festive cod hap- 
pened into Holton very opportunely, and the skipper very graciously 
offered to "land" me at Sloop Cove (my next stopping place). It 
was thirty miles distant. The weather looked unpropitious, even 
gloomy ; but the genial skipper had had "bad luck," and he was 
anxious to reach Cape Harrison, where fish had been reported plenti- 
ful. The wind was southwest, and we ran out clear of the shoals; 
for this is a dangerous coast, and honeycombed with breakers. 
Only last season forty vessels were wrecked in the vicinity ; but 
many of them were floated again by Dr. Grenfell's assistance. 

We passed Holton Big Island close aboard ; this is a remarkable 
truncated cone, 317 feet high; and on one of its slopes are two 
raised beaches — one of them seventv-fivc feet above hisrh-water 


mark. Some years ago the entire skeleton of a whale was found 
on this old sea-beach by Captain Drake, the present captain of the 
steamer "Glencoe," of the Reid-Xewfoundland service. The skele- 
ton was practically intact; and the jaw-bone of the "leviathan of the 
deep" was taken by one of the crew of the captain's schooner, and 
served as a "chopping block"' for the rest of the summer. 

We saw the Quakers Hat and The Tinker away to the southeast; 
and as evening approached it became "stark calm" ; and to add to 
the gloom, "the fog rose up in many a spectral shape." The follow- 
ing day found us still enveloped in fog "as black as your hat." The 
barometer was "lookin' sick," so the captain informed us ; and a 
heavy swell was heaving in from the northeast; and then — 

"North. South, East and West, there are reefs and breakers, 
You would never dream of in smooth weather." 

Two days in the fog! feasting off "pork and duff'"! But let us 
be patient. There is something approaching us, for we hear the 
swish of the waves; and suddenly out of the gloom appears the 
JJ'iiidsor Lake, bound south. We hailed her and the captain in- 
formed us we were "about a mile south of False Cape." A little 
"puff" comes from the southeast ; and within an hour the man on the 
jib-boom end hollers with a voice like a fog-horn, "Hard down, 
sir, breakers ahead !" We were almost on the rocks, but the cap- 
tain was as cool as a cucumber; and we "haul" to the eastward. 
Immediately the fog lifted and we were about five hundred yards 
north of False Cape — a saddle-shaped hill, fully one thousand feet 
high. We were soon at anchor in Shop Cove. 

Sloop Cove is a large inlet situated at the foot 
SLOOP COVE, of a glacis, which is apparently a mile wide. It 
is a rather picturesque spot, as, close by the 
green slope, one may see in the ravines snow which never melts. 
On the south side of the harbor is a large beach of shingle, facing 
north, about 150 feet high. I spent a day at this harbor some years 
before ; and I then witnessed one of the most glorious sunsets which 
mortal eye has ever beheld. In an old diary I find this little entry : 
"A little flurry of snow swept over the hills this afternoon; but it 


lasted only a few moments. I was reading Longfellow, and by a 
singular coincidence I came upon these lines, so peculiarly ap- 
plicable to the situation : 

"And over me unrolls on high 

The splendid scenery of the sky. 

Where through a sapphire sea, the .*^un 

Sails like a golden galleon, 

Towards yonder cloud-land in the west 

Towards yonder islands of the blest 

Whose steep sierra far uplifts 

Its craggy summits white with drifts." 

lUit to-day we had no snow, but rain in torrents — a regular 
"Irishman's hurricane." It was a "fishermen's holiday" (a day 
when fishing is imi)ossil)le ) : so our congregation was a compara- 
tively large one ; everybody turned out at an early hour for "the 
stations"; and, again at evening, we had a large gathering for 
Rosary. At night there was a magnificent display of the .Aurora; 

"A wonderful glory of color. 

A splendor of shifting light — 

Orange and purple and scarlet — 

Flamed in the skv to-night." 

The Aurora is a glad sight to the fishermen, as it betokens a fine 
to-morrow ; and such it was ; and we were away to Cape Harrison 
bv davbreak. 

Cape Harrison, or ]]'cbcc (Uz'ialiik of the Esqui- 
W^EBEC. maux). is a bluff headland, rising to the height of 

1,065 ^^^t' fringed with steep, reddish cliffs; it is com- 
posed of gneiss ; and on its northern side is seamed with vertical 
trap dykes. From oflf this cape the "Allcgcgaii Moiiiitai)is" whose 
highest peak is ''Alount Misery," can be seen at a distance of sev- 
enty-five miles in clear weather. A rather unique description of 
the Cape was given by the skipper of our schooner: "When they 
wus done a-makin' o' the world, they gethered the scraps together, 
and threw "em here and made Cape 'Arrison." 



It is certainly a forbidding^ place ; and a strange feature is, that no 
matter how calm it is in the neighborhood, it is always blowing- a 
fierce gale in the "tickle" which separates JJ'cbcc Island from the 
mainland. I have never had a satisfactory explanation of this phe- 
nomenon. The view from the top of Cope JVcbcc is one of the most 
charming sights I have ever witnessed. I once crossed over it 
cii route from Sloop Coz'c to a little creek opposite the Rcii^s. 

A i. M'.KAlKiR CRl-:\\ . 

i\way to the north lay the Archipelago of Tikaloaik, and west- 
ward an undulating plateau whose surface, dotted with numberless 
tarns, seemed to fade away and dissolve in the azure of the sky. 
The country in its general aspect here differs from any other sec- 
tion of the Labrador coast which I have visited. 

Away to the east lay the broad Atlantic, and as I stood gazing 
upon the mighty, music-haunted sea, I recalled these lines from 
"Childe Harold" : 

"Thou glorious mirror, where th' Almighty's form 
Glasses itself in tempests, in all time, 
Calm or convulsed, in breeze, or gale, or storm, 
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime, 


Dark-heaving, boundless, endless and sublime, 

Th' image of Eternity — the throne 

Of tlv Invisible; even out thy slime 

The monsters of the deep arc made ; each zone 

Obeys thcc ; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone." 

To all who delight in the weird charms of isolation, I would 
say, — cross the heights of JVcbcc, and revel in them. 

But now we are not on terra firma; we are making Wchcc Harbor 
under a close-reefed foresail, not by any means a poetic performance. 

The harbor lies between IVehec Island 
WEP.EC IT ARBOR, on the north, and the mainland of Cape 
Harrison, on the south ; it is sheltered by 
Morrison Island from the eastward. It is a comparatively large 
harbor, but unsafe in stormy weather. Here we anchored, wdiilst 
our ca])tain visited some of the schooners for "news 'bout the fish." 
Meanwhile, there was an opportunity for a little exploration. We 
discovered that JFcbcc Island is 250 feet high, with a few hills on 
its northern part. 

The formation of the island is chiefly gneiss, though several veins 
of quartz are visible here and there, and boulders are scattered in 
profusion all over its surface. There are also several evidences of 
trap formations standing in columns not unlike the buttresses at 
Battle Harbor. There are two channels leading into Cape Harrison 
Harbor, one of them being know-n as Clinker Tickle; it is so called, 
I believe, after II. '\\. S. Clinker, which discovered a rock in the 
centre after the manner of the old pilot, — she hit it. 

Cape Harrison has a very special interest for me, as my grand- 
father was the first Newfoundlander who went so far north in 
quest of fish in early days. He made his first trip to Cape Harri- 
son, in the schooner Traveller, in 1842; later, he went farther, and 
located at ^lilik ; and finally went down to Cape Harrigan and be- 
yond. American fishermen were at Cape Harrison some years 
previous to 1842. In these days fishing was prosecuted with "jig- 
gers" ; and puncheons of these v^^ere carried to the coast every year. 
Fish was plentiful ; and the usual trip was one hundred quintals per 


A rather interesting- story in connection with "jigging"' is told 
of a venerable clergyman in Newfoundland. He had recently 
arrived from the Green Isle, and was appointed to a large parish in 
Bonavista Bay. Soon after his arrival in the parish, he began the 
customary parochial visitation. To his amazement, the good Father 
found on enquiry for the "master" of the house, that he was "out 
jigging." He didn't make any further investigations as to the nature 
of "jigging," but felt aggrieved to learn that such awful depravity 
should exist amongst "Christian people." 

The worthy pastor decided to preach a strong sermon on the 
unseemly practices of the men of the parish, who, instead of being- 
engaged in a legitimate occupation (fishing), were "galavantin' " 
around the place and "jigging." 

On the Saturday evening ]irevious to the forthcoming dies irae, 
a prominent parishioner visited his Reverence, and in the course of 
conversation, the latter alluded to the unseemly habits of his 
parishioners, who spent the fine summer day "jigging" when they 
ought to be catching fish. The visitor explained to the good Father 
that "jigging" meant cat dun i:^ squids for bait; the sermon on Sun- 
dav was on a dififerent theme from "jigging/" which in the Emerald 
Isle means d unci Jig. 

There is practically no "jigging"" on Labrador in these days; 
seines and traps have relegated the jigger to the realm of ancient 
things. Our captain returned after visiting several schooners which 
lav at Cape Harbor; and he informed us: "Fish purty scarce, lots 
o' it at the 'Rags." " This was welcome news to me as well as to 
the crew, as Ragged Is/and was my next stopping-place. 

We are now in the Esquimaux domain ; and we find Esc[uimaux 
names for nearly every cape and shoal and island. 

Ragged Islands, the "Rags" (Kingnitsoak), 
''THE RAGS." are a cluster of islands, lying about eight miles 
from Cape Harrison, in a northwesterly direc- 
tion. There are four principal islands with numerous islets ; and 
they are unique in their appearance and formation. 

The large islands are composed of gneiss, and two of them are 
fullv six hundred feet high ; the small islets are basaltic ; and the 
structural features of the entire Archipelago are peculiar. Huge 



boulders, some of them forty feet in diameter, are strewn along 
the shore near the fishing settlement ; and the foreshore is literally 
filled with (h'tritits worn from the rocks by atmospheric and other 
causes. The huge masses which one sees strewn along the shore 
can be picked to pieces by hand. Were it not for the unmistakable 
evidences of gneissic and granitic formation one would naturally be 
{lis])()sed to pronounce them conglomerates. This is the only place 
along the coast, as far as I know, where such peculiarities exist. 
"The landwash" is knee-deep for liumh-eds of yards with this 
detritus; and the fishermen tell me that it is annually thickening to 
the extent of several inches. Our schooner "moored" here; and so 


did 1. llcre 1 found very comfortable quarters with a former do- 
mestic of our family. The house was only a shack ; but such clean- 
liness ! One rarely sees anything like it in these latitudes. There 
was at one time a large fishing plant at the "Rags" ; but to-day 
there is merely a cluster of dilapidated huts. Here I met a full- 
blooded Esquimau — Joe Lusi. Joseph had adopted the ways of his 
white brother and added a surname. He had just returned "from 
Chicago." (He was one of the band taken to the Chicago Exhibi- 
tion.) He had acquired quite a vocabulary of Anglo-Saxon in the 
west ; but some of the fishermen informed me that Joseph's strongest 
and most emphatic phraseology was "cuss words." 

He had learned this, alas ! from men who deem themselves his 


superior in every particular. Joseph had a "tilt" not far from my 
quarters; and during the time I spent on the island I visited his 
"Igloo." It was not a very substantial affair (it was built of sods 
and poles), but the interior was cleaner than the interior of 
some of the shacks of the settlers in the neighborhood. He had a 
family of three; and they, too, had seen the "Windy City," They 
were seemingly very intelligent ; and the oldest, "a maiden of sev- 
enteen summers." was an expert in drawing. SKe had a number of 
splendid sketches : and I purchased them, as specimens of Indian 
handiwork. I asked Joe why he had returned to Labrador ; and I 
was surprised at his answer: "Chicagy shock}' lunsom blace" (Chi- 
cago was a very lonesome place!). This was the only full-blooded 
Esquimaux family then living south of Long Tickle. The trip to 
our next stopping place meant a long journey. W^e did not await 
any chance occasion to get there ; so we started in a skiff at day- 
light, and our friend the "Husky" was one of the crew. Our stock 
of provisions was scant ; and by the time Joseph's appetite had 
been. I fear, only partially satisfied, there was little left for us ; and 
"two cakes of hard tack" were my quantum. \Yq landed at 
Tikaoralik (The Wheel) a sharp peaked island, at noon, as we 
needed water "to fill the piper" ; and we were agreeably surprised 
to find some fishermen here who gave us a good feed of pork and 
hard tack. Certain writers on Labrador (who know the coast from 
hearsay) locate the Icelandic landfall in this neighborhood; but 
produce no evidence to support their assertions. 
We reached RoQ-cr's Harbor late in the afternoon. 

Roger's Harbor is located on one of the 
ROGER'S HARBOR. Kikkertavak Islands. The island is 

"composed of syenite, its feldspar flesh- 
colored, and the shore is in its scenic features, like that of the rocks 
at Xahant or Mt. Desert, with a few small beaches, the slopes lead- 
ing down to them of intense green." Here Joseph found some Esqui- 
maux friends, and they certainly gave him an enthusiastic recep- 
tion. I noticed that he was very generous with the stock of tobacco 
which some of our crew had furnished, and the friends cast wistful 
eyes upon me, as if they, too, would like a donation. The skipper 
of the establishment at Rogei''s kindly let me have a couple of 


pounds, and there was an intense Kwk of satisfaction on the visages 
of the ■■Huskies" (who are ])articularly fond of the "weed"}. The 
crew returned to "J "he Kaj^s" next niorninj^. and I was left to my 
own devices; Init on the following day, just as 1 had concluded my 
mission, a boat from Long Tickle arrived, and, as it was to return 
at once, 1 certaiidy felt relieved, for Roger's Harbor is by no means 
a desiral)le place in any sense. 

The boat wa- a decked sloop, the collector of the 
ICEBERGS. "Room" at Long Tickle; and 1 had as fellow- 
passenger an intelligent English captain, whose 
schooner was at [Mercer's awaiting a fish-cargo. The passage to 
Lonii l^icklc was made through shoals and icebergs. 

Some of these bergs were like alabaster columns, set upon a base 
of azure ; others reseml)lcd a castellated keep of mcdiccval times, in 
all save color: and there were tents and cathedral towers, domes 
and minarets, birds and beasts, sculptured out of ■'(Greenland's Icy 
Mountains." These bergs are lovely to gaze upon — from some dis- 
tant point; close accpiaintance is not desirable, for they not unfre- 
cjuently resent one's approach by ''calving" ! The annals of Labra- 
dor contain some sad records of iceberg disasters. Hardly a season 
passes in which some craft does not pay toll to the great white 
peril. Not many years ago the schooner Rose of Spaniard's Bay 
was lost by contact with a berg; and only one man of the entire 
crew was saved ; he was found in an exhausted state some days 
after the accident occurred. More recently a coasting vessel from 
the north picked up the sole survivor of a fishing vessel whose crew 
had been swamped by a huge white monster of the north. 

A rather singular experience is recorded by Captain Ash, the 
veteran master-mariner, who commanded the Greely Ilxpedition 
in the steamer Thetis, some years ago. Captain Ash is one of the 
most experienced master-mariners in Newfoundland, and he has 
had some unique experiences with ice and icebergs. I have heard 
him relate some of these experiences ; and such hairbreadth escapes 
they were ! He had one that is, I believe, without parallel in local 
marine history. It occurred whilst the captain commanded the 
steamer Portia of the Red Cross Line, plying between New York 
and St. lohn's. 


The Portia went north occasionally to Pilley's Island, in Notre 
Dame Bay, to load iron pyrites for New York. On one of those 
trips the ship carried a number of enthusiastic American tourists. 
They had seen several "baby" icebergs; but they "really wanted to 
get close by a big' one." A big one was found in Notre Dame l>ay, 
floating majestically southward. Its pinnacles and domes and caves 
glinted with strange, fantastic colors ; and as it was borne along in 
its unswerving course by the northern current, heedless of wind and 
wave, its appearance was superb. The Portia had approached it ; 
when suddenly a sound like the boom of a hundred cannons rent the 
air; the huge mass was riven asunder, as if by the explosion of a 
mine, and it separated into three immense blocks. That nearest the 
Portia staggered for a moment, then careened and suddenly swung 
the ship "high and dry" six feet above the level of the water ; the 
steamer had been caught on a spur of the berg. Terror was written 
upon the blanched faces of passengers and crew ; but Ash un- 
flinchingly stood at his post on the bridge, awaiting, as he imagined, 
destruction and death. In the midst of a grim silence, a New 
Yorker piped forth a question, "Say, Cap, I guess we're in a tight 
place, ain't we? How are you going to launch this craft?" The 
captain answered very gravely, "I guess you'd better say your pray- 
ers ; the next port of call seems pretty near." For half a minute or 
more the ship remained motionless ; and then a huge wave caused by 
the overturning of the other fragments suddenly swept her, stern 
foremost, with a dreadful plunge, into the sea. The captain thought 
the end had come ; he feared his ship would never rise ; but the 
Portia rose slowly out of the whirlpool ; and then all was well. The 
stout little vessel had been only slightly damaged ; and there were 
rejoicings and thanksgivings for the escape from a watery grave. 

Where do these bergs come from ? They are "made in Green- 
land" — made by nature's hands, and are simply the broken ends of 
monster glaciers formed in the deep fiords which lead into the 
Arctic Sea ; they are borne along by the strong northern currents in 
springtime, and sometimes pass far to the southward, and into the 
Gulf Stream, where they melt and swell the volume of this "ocean 

At times they ground along the coast of Northern Newfound- 
land, and Southern Labrador; and it is not unusual during early 


summer, to see dozens of stranded bergs in the neighborliood of 
Belle Isle and on the shoals off Chateau Bay. 

There were several bergs in sight as we made our way to Long 
Tickle. But we gave those Arctic visitants a wide berth, and made 
good progress against a h'ead-wind. At noon we "hove up" and 
secured some fresh fish ; and we dined d la fisherman off "fish and 
vang." This is a delicacy known only to Labrador fishermen ; and, 
if Delmonico's chef wishes to learn the art of cooking codfish I rec- 
ommend him to make a trip to the coast and get the recipe. 

Somewhat belated by dodging the ice, we ar- 
LONG TICKLE, rived at Mercer's "room" in the evening; 
and our approach to the Stage-head was an- 
nounced by the "band" — not any ordinary, commonplace, Hungarian 
aflfair, but a genuine performance by Esquimaux dogs. 

Wonderful animals these dogs ! Once you hear this band you 
never forget it. I had heard it so often that it did not seem so 
impressive to me as it did to the dapper little English captain. He 
shivered from head to foot ; and quaked as if he were facing a regi- 
ment of artillery; he hadn't heard it before. A recent visitor to the 
coast describes the "Band" at Battle Harbor; but this is really a 
very tame performance compared with what one hears where the 
genuine Esquimaux dog abides. He says : "I shall never forget it. 
I never heard wolves howl, but I can easily believe that their howl 
and that of the "Huskies" is alike. . . . The first night at Bat- 
tle Harbor I lay awake for some time listening with great enjoyment 
to the "Band." A few dogs outside my window began to howl low 
and softly. The volume of sound swelled till it became like the 
rushing of a mighty wind, — wild, fear-inspiring. Again it died 
away, only to come again with the deep tones of an organ. Imme- 
diately the refrain was taken up by a group of dogs at the next 
house, and again by those further on, until the great chorus stretched 
throughout the whole village. Then all was silent. Anon it began 
again at some distant outpost and passed from group to group. The 
nocturnal concerts of dogs further north are said to be imposing 
(this it was in our case). Some day an Esquimau — and they are a 
musical race — will compose an opera, and the howling of the dogs 
will be the motif." (Townsend: "Along the Labrador Coast.") 


We had little to do at Long Tickle; and at daylight we were again 
en route, bound to Maccovkk Island. 

We passed close by the Kidialuit group, and Ironhound, which 
lay close aboard, to starboard ; and after struggling with the tide 
and an incipient northeaster we reached Ford's Bight (Nisbet's 
Harbor), late in the afternoon. As we rounded the point we ran 
into a swann of Kittiwakes ("Tickelelses"), and the fishermen who 
accompanied me seemed to dislike the effrontery of these nomads; 
"nuthin' good, sir, when the're around," says one of my crew. So 
it proved. A northeaster came up during the night, and it blew 
fiercely for hours. By morning it had abated somewhat ; but a 
heavy sea was running. We remained all day at Ford's BigJit and 
then had a nocturnal trip to Strawberry, where we found some fish- 
ing schooners "from home." Here we were in a land-locked har- 
bor, and comfortable. 

Nisbet's Harbor, whence we had come, has an uncanny reputa- 
tion, as it was here that the first Moravian Missionaries who vis- 
ited this part of Labrador were murdered by the Esquimaux ; and 
fishermen don't "like to meddle with places like that." 

"Whether the little box of a harbor we 
STRAWBERRY, swung into was called Strawberry because it 
was but little larger than that berry, history 
does not record ; but it was the queerest of queer harbors." So 
writes an American Scientist who visited Labrador many years ago ; 
and Strawberry is still regarded as one of the curiosities of the 
coast. My grandfather, if not the pioneer of fishing in this little 
nook, was the first to make it headquarters for "the down-the-shore 

"Strazvberry," says the writer just quoted, "is a small, deep hole 
like a purgatory ; and an amphitheatre of rock rises around it in huge 
steps, affording a striking illustration of the power of frost and 
waves on this exposed coast. The rock is hard, tough, fleshy-col- 
ored syenite, with deep vertical and horizontal fissures resulting 
from the decomposition of the trap dykes, thus causing huge blocks 
of syenite to be detached and fall down." Around Strazvberry Head 
to the north lies Maccovick Bay — a large inlet, well wooded, and 
extremely picturesque. "Both sides of this bay are thickly wooded, 

21)6 WHERK 'nil' i-isiif-:rs go. 

with nKnintain summits rising Ijarc and ^r^iy tlirough the covering 
of (lark-green coniferous trees, the l)irches (ir puplars not being 
abundant enough to cnli\cu tht- sombre hues of an evergreen Labra- 
dor forest. The contours of the ridges were regular, the country 
is rather low. tlie scenerv on the whole monotonous; and such, I 
conceive, are the feature's of the interior of the Labrador plateau, 
though diversified with lakes and deep river valleys. l)Oth sides of 
the bay were terraced ; on the north side were three long and regu- 
lar terraces ; those on the south side were less regular and much 
shorter ; one formed a jjoint of land perha])s one hundred feet high 
and descending into the water by three terraces. I-'arther up, the 
slope of the hill was paved with large sea-worn boulders, for the 
most part covered over and hidden by vegetation. The scenery of 
the bay is magnificent ; and from the following paragraph one may 
realize how it ai)i)ears to the artist. 

"In the early afternoon a dense haze filled the sky. The sun, seen 
through this, became a globe of glowing ruby, and its glade on the 
sea looked as if the water had been strewn, almost enough to con- 
ceal it, with a crystalline ruby dust, or with fine spcculae of ver- 
milion bordering on crimson. The j^eculiarity of this ruby dust was 
that it seemed to possess body, and. while it glowed, did not in the 
smallest degree dazzle, — as if the brilliancy of each ruby particle 
came from the heart of it rather than from the surface. The effect 
was in truth indescribable, and I try to suggest it with more sense 
of hopelessness than I have felt hitherto in preparing these papers. 
It was beautiful beyond expression, any expression at least which is 
at my command." 

From the mouth of this bay we get a magnificent view of the 

"Allegcgair range away to the south, while in the near distance, 

the cone-shaped Moikcv Hill looked spectral as it lay enshrouded 

in the morning mist. But rci'i-iioiis a uos 

MA(T^O\'lCK. }}ioutoiis; we are off to Macco-rick Island. This 
i> one of the Uii:^oklialiiit group, and lies about 
five miles from Stra:<.'bcrry Head. A strong tide was setting to the 
south ; and we received quite a drubbing, in a whale-boat, trying to 
make the harbor. We were nearly swamped by the wash from a 
schooner which "hove" up near us to inquire about fish at Straw- 
berry. The skipper apologized, and offered "to take us in tow" ; 


we declined with thanks, as we di(hi't need a salt water bath just 

We reached the harbor safely : but a giant iceber<; was planted 
at its approach, hardly allowing- room to enter ; it had evidently 
drifted in, and grounded during the night. Here we were chez-nous; 
and the veteran Captain Dunn made us very comfortable. The 
temperature was chilly ; and the captain had a rattling fire a-going in 
the kitchen, which soon forced us to seek the cooler air outside. 
And it was really worth while, for we then witnessed another 
Labrador phenomenon — Jiioo}irisc, before the sun zveiit dow)!. To 
the west all was aglow with the rays of the setting sun. wliilst in 
the east 

"Up from the dark the moon begins to creep ; 

And now a pallid haggard face lifts she 

Above the water-line." 

Such glorious nights are these on the coast ! But we have had a 
rude day's work ; and soon we "gathered round us the curtain of 
repose." "Four o'clock, sir!" This was our reveille; and when the 
hour came for the "stations" there was a congregation which in- 
cluded everybody on the island. After the "stations" and a substan- 
tial repast of fried cod and brenns a volunteer crew took me across 
to Ailik, about six miles distant. Ailik lies in a bay of the same 
name ; and it is a most interesting locality. The for- 

AILIK. mation here is of different structure from any other I 

have seen on Northern Labrador ; at places there is an 

outcropping of red sandstone, similar to wdiat one sees in the Straits 

of Belle Isle. The rocks are fissured by several immense canyons ; 

and the steeps are fringed with boulders. 

On the southeast side of the harbor there is a lagoon which is dry 
at low water ; and near Keefe's "Room" there is a splendid specimen 
of "raised beach" about thirty feet high, trending to the north- 
west. It looked as if the tide still washed it. 

Ailik had long been a familiar name to me as we once owned a 
large fishing brig, "The Rusina." whose name is almost synony- 
mous with Ailik. 

Ailik is a remarkable seal-fishing post ; and the Esquimaux in this 
region prosecute it vigorously. From "The Coast Pilot of Labra- 
dor," I have gleaned the following details : "Ice forms here about 


the middle of November, and the northern ice arrives about the loth 
December; at the end of this month a straight edge, known as the 
"fast ice" is formed from island or rocks several miles ofif shore, 
outside which ice flows continuously from December to June or 
July, antl residents along the shore drive with Kojiuitiks and dogs 
to the eastern edge to hunt for seals in the pools of the floe as it 
passes along. Towards the middle of January sheet ice appears, 
flowing southward in the same manner, occasionally rafting from 
5 to 20 feet above the sea; small bergs are sometimes seen about 
this time. The prevailing wind in winter is N. W. From Ailik 
to our next port — Tnrnavik — was a short but most delightful trip. 
Turnavik is an immense Archipelago, located in Kaipokok Bay — one 
of the largest bays on the coast. In close proximity to Ailik Head, 
which forms the eastern entrance to the bay, there are two immense 
canyons dividing the plateau, in a southerly direction, and several 
raised beaches are located at the lower extremities of these canyons. 
Writing of this bay, Professor Hind says : "There are numerous 
shoals or fishing banks off Ailik Head and Kaipokok Bay, composed 
of morainal matter brought down the fiord and pushed into the sea. 
That the fiords and bays were, however, excavated by glaciers 
themselves, we are much inclined to doubt, since these bays and 
fiords were natural valleys, which perhaps date back to Laurentian 
times, and which have been for many geological ages excavated by 
streams, though during the glacial period remodelled by ice and 
glacial streams. But the glaciers of Labrador have left even more 
valuable records, in the form of moraines, of their early existence 
here, than deep fiords or innumerable islands. These are the shoals 
and banks which lie some fifteen miles outside of the islands, and on 
which icebergs strand in long lines and group." 

East Tiirnaz-ik and U^est Turnavik are both large fishing sta- 
tions. At tHe latter place we fell in with the "Princess ]\Iay" flying 
the missionary burgee at the fore-peak. Visible from the "Room" 
at Tnrnavik is an immense hill, said to be one thousand feet high, to 
the south of which is an inlet 30 miles deep, in which is located a 
Hudson Bay post. We remained here some time and then started 
for Winsor Harbor (Tikkerasuk), about ten miles to the N. W. ; 
and our course lay through reefs and breakers so numerous that 
we discovered some of them by contact. There is a little group on 


our way, bearing the name of Ukallnktok (Hare Islands), one of 
which is of a snigular formation — an island about 300 feet high, 
curiously striped horizontally in black and white, known as "Striped 
Island." We reached Winsor about nine p. m. ; and it was still 
broad daylight. As I looked out upon the bay there occurred to me 
a thought borrowed from Long-fellow : 

"Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights." 

Southey must have been inspired by some such scene when he 
wrote : 

"How beautiful is night ! 

A dewy freshness fills the silent air; 

No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain. 

Breaks the serene of heaven ; 

In full-orbed glory, yonder moon divine 

Rolls through the dark blue depths ; 

Beneath her steady ray 

The desert-circle spreads. 

Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky. 

How beautiful is night ! 

"Here, night and day hold each other's hands upon the hill-tops, 
no sooner does the sun set West by North, than like a giant re- 
freshed, it rises again North by East" (Lambert de Beaulieu, "Rec- 
ollections of Labrador"). 

Winsor was to be my abiding-place for a while; how long? It 
mattered little ; it was my last "station" for the season ; the colony 
at Multa, thirty miles north, had "wound up the yoyage" (it had 
been a lean year) ; and the fishermen at "Fanny's Harbor" had 
gone off to the "Farmyards." Then off to Nain, for this was the 
last trip of the steamer for tITe season. 

Winsor is a comfortable landfall. The "Room" is a large and 
cleanly one ; and there was time for a little exploration. Amongst 
other things, on the island, seemingly of commercial value, we dis- 
covered a large bed of Steatite, and small quantities of Talc; and on 
a neighboring island, located a serpentine formation which is cer- 
tainly worth developing ; but ours is not a commercial enterprise. 

The heat here was intense, tho' the season was far advanced ; and 
the mosquitoes were particularly troublesome. It is said that there 



is only one specimen of the genus citlc.v found on the coast of Labra- 
dor ; so much the better, as this animal is particularly vexatious. "It 
is a remarkably sluggish animal comparcij tn most of its con- 
geners elsewhere, slower in its movements than the largest brown 
cnlicidae of the Tropics ; but it is provided with an unusually lung 
proboscis, the use of which it understands so admirably that an ordi- 
nary kid glove is no sure defence against it. It gives little or no 
warning of its presence, but proceeds at once to attack its host in 
the most vigorous and direct manner. It is found in immense 
shoals ; and at times is particularly troublesome." .At night during 
the early summer months I had frequently to use a moscjuito net to 
avoid disastrous consequences to my physiognomy. 


But a more annoying pe^t on Labrador is the little black Hy, 
which the Indians designate "feel 'em. no see' em"; and tliese flies 
are found in myriads a short distance from the "landwash" of sev- 
eral settlements. On one occasion, I saw them so numerous that 
they resembled a miniature cloud. Low. marshy ground is their 
favorite haunt. At Jl'iiisor we found the onl\- "greens" on the 


coast ; in the rear of our quarters there were several patches of 
"turnip-tops" and a splendid bed of lettuce. We are certainly in 
luck ; and salad a la Tikkcrasuk formed a large part of the sundry 
daily meals. This and "sounds" and "cod-tongues" are a peculiar 
prandial combination ; but nevertheless, delicious, when you have 
been four months away from home. 

The Windsor Lake arrived rather unexpectedly one morning, and 
we were .soon afloat, en route to Hopedale — the interesting Mo- 
ravian Mission, across the bay. Another bundle of mail ; and with 
it an appointment to a new sphere of labor. So this was to be 
my last trip to the coast perhaps for many years. On board of the 
steamer there were several passengers — chiefly American — amongst 
them the ubiquitous newspaper correspondent, and another specimen 
of the genus homo — a "writer." This gentleman was garbed in a 
suit of immaculate flaimel ; the costume seemed to tickle the risi- 
bility of the Esquimaux at Winsor, when the steamer arrived. Old 
Silas, the Esquimau caretaker of the "Room," examined the new- 
comer very closely ; he had evidently never seen a white-flannelled— 
well, Kipling says something in connection with "muddled oafs" — 
this is the requisite term. 

Silas was a keen observer. "Him man, monkey, no tail ; never 
see 'em afore." The waggish mail-officer secretly confided the in- 
telligence to the "Husky" that the caudal appendage was coiled up 
out of sight." Perhaps it was. This gentleman was ''collecting ma- 
terial" for Labrador "Tales." But it did not take long for some 
of us to discover that this personage was employed in some more 

humble capacity than that of a contributor to . Unless I 

arri mistaken, this employee of the was perhaps engaged in 

licking postage stamps, or possibly he " "sorted the editor's mail." 
The newspaper correspondent was of the feminine gender, a "globe- 
trotter," she informed some of the party. But the "globe" trotting 
was apparently limited to a trip across the Atlantic, when her be- 
loved parents were emigrating from Paisley. She wrote some very 
wonderful things about Labrador on her return to the United States. 
Amongst the party were some very excellent, genial people who 
really enjoyed the trip, and their fellow-passengers apparently held 
them in high esteem. Whilst "sizing up" the company I found that 
we had passed several interesting islands — Nanuaktok (White Bear 



Islands), and the remarkable Uyaraznksnlik (Two Stones); the 
latter gets its name from two rcmarkal^le blocks of stone which are 
found on its southern side. Hopcdah (Hoffenthal) lies northwest 
from the western Kingitok Island, in a small bay protected from the 
eastward by the islands of Anniozcaktook ( P>ig Snow Hill), 468 feet 
high, and Aiiiiiowaktontsok (Little Snow Hill), which is apparently 
about half the height of the former. 

Some fishing schooners were anchored close inshore, evidently 
bound south; and in the offing was a large ship — "The Harmony," 
the "mission-vessel." This ship makes annual trips to the Labrador 
coast, bringing supplies from London in springtime for the various 
missions, and in the autumn, taking back to the markets the mis- 
sionaries' harvests of fish and furs. 




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Before our ship had anchored, several boats and one or two 
kayaks were seen moving out from the shore, and soon several 
dusky visitors climbed up the gangway. Then "Auchenai," "Kan- 
noekit," "Annanak" and sundry other words were hurled at the 
visitors by the officers and crew of the IVitidsor Lake. The 


"Huskies" smiled and gibbered, as they took stock of our equip- 
ment. A miniature riot occurred amongst the younger fry when a 
benevolent lady started to distribute some candy "which she had 
brought specially from St. John's for these poor, dear people !" In 
the uiclcc the good-natured dame was jostled very unceremoniously ; 
and as she was extricated from her sad plight, I think I heard, as I 
passed over the gangway, an adjectival expression coupled with the 
word "brutes'' that sounded particularly feminine ; but of course 
that dear old soul in curls never used such language as that ! Is it 
not remarkable, tho', how soon tinsel kindness wears off? 

The scramble almost suffocated one of the juvenile "Huskies"; 
and as we returned.. after visiting the mission quarters, the medical 
officer was busily occupied in adjusting sundry pieces of sticking 
plaster to the face of x dusky damsel who had been in contact with 
the ship's winch. 

The bay in which Hopedale is located is com- 
HOPEDALE. posed of Laurentian gneiss, which, in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the mission-house, is curiously 
contorted; it is fine-grained, distinctly banded, with veins of quartz 
and granite (Packard). There are several trap dykes, in places like 
winding stairs descending to the water's edge. The hillsides are 
covered with lichens, with an occasional patch of glaucous-colored 
growth. At intervals are little ravines in which last season's snow 
still remains. Near the mission house is a raised beach, almost cov- 
ered by rank vegetation, which slopes down to a little "bight" east 
of the Esquimaux village. This beach abounds in well-preserved 
shells. This seems to clearly demonstrate the theory of a well- 
known author who says that "this part of Labrador is now slowly 

Close to the water's edge are the Mission Buildings, consisting of 
a large residence, in which all the missionaries have their quarters, 
a church surmounted by a small campanile, and two or three out- 
buildings, one of which is apparently the store, as, at the time of our 
visit, some Esquimaux women were struggling with a puncheon of 
molasses, trying to roll it against a steep incline. Fronting the resi- 
dence are several trim garden plots in which there was a magnificent 
display of pansies, stocks, nasturtiums, and other well-known flow- 



ers. There were also some patches of vegetables, in a fairly ad- 
vanced condition. Near by the mission premises are the huts of the 
Esquimaux, which arc built of timber and sods. 

They are not particularly clean ; and some of the exploring party 
were not desirous to see the interiors ; but the more venturesome 
managed to get inside ; and one of the gentler se.x — our newspaper 
correspondent — was overcome by heat (or the malodorous at- 


mosphere ) ; and we beat a hasty retreat. Dogs were lying around 
at every corner ; and one needs to tread gently so as not to make 
an undesired acquaintance with the canines' teeth. The Chapel is 
a neat structure, and capable of containing perhaps 350 people. An 
organ is placed at one end of the building, and an Esquimau was 
commissioned to give us a recital : he played well, and barring the 
odor of seal-grease, everything was decidedly attractive. Our 
friend in "white flannels" "would like just to try that organ"; he 
tried ; but whether the air with which he struggled was "The 
Old Hundred" or "Annie Rooney's Baby." my ears, fairly musical 
though they are said lo be, were unable to discover. 

We were followed around the settlement by a group of curious 
natives ; but they were kept at decent distance by the very observ- 
ant gaze of the missionary who accompanied us. 

The Mission at Hof>cdalc was founded in 1782; and the Esqui- 



maux population now is somewhat less than at the time of its estab- 

It is a mission and trading post ; and the mission annually exports 
about one thousand quintals of fish, for which the sum of $3.50 (in 
kind) is paid to the Esquimaux. Besides fish, a large quantity of 
blubber is purchased at $2.40 per cwt. The balance of the mission 
trade is made up of furs of various animals — martens, foxes, wea- 
sels, mink and other fur-bearing animals. 

The prices paid for these commodities are the usual trader's 
prices. The missionaries were extremely courteous and very hos- 
pitable. They are comfortably housed and seemed perfectly happy. 
Some of our party did considerable trade with the Esquimaux folk 
in the purchase of skin mittens and boots ; but, as the Esquimaux 
are keen sellers, our friends did not get any bargains, as the same 
articles might have been purchased further south for less money. 

Some of us were glad to return to the ship from this hamlet of 
smells and dirt ; we had seen it several times ; and we had little to 
learn. Before our boat had been hoisted into davits we were head- 
ing for the ''Farthest North." 







"I saw the long line of the vacant shore 
The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand 

And the brown rocks bare on every hand, 
As if the ebbing tide would flow no more." 

"The Tides/' Longfellow. 

After leaving Hopcdalc we passed by a cliffy, basaltic island, 
called Achvitoaksoak ; kept the shore aboard for four or five miles, 
and then we steamed by another island, a mass of basalt, named 
Napakastasaktalik. near which is a unique rock rising out of the 
water, like a seal's head. A large "bight" lies away to the westward; 
and on its sides, in the ravines, were several patches of snow. The 
shore line here has a forbidding aspect ; and as we came by in a 
dreadful "tumble." it seemed an inhospitable place ; for huge break- 
ers sent the spray flying skywards for several feet. Eleven miles to 
the north of Napakastasaktalik there is another grim, menacing 
island whose summit, five hundred feet from sea-level, looked un- 
canny as it emerged from the haze which enveloped its base. Near 
by is Mnlta within whose borders I had spent, some years previous, 
"one of the queerest old nights." 

We were nearing, apparently, the deep 
WINDY TICKLE, mouthed "caves of Aeolus," for it was 

blowing a hurricane. On enquiring of the 
captain where we were, he replied : "This is 'Windy Tickle,' the 
place where they make the gales" ; and 'tis truly not misnamed, as 
"the wind in the shrouds has a wintry tune, and the foam is flying 
free." The land here is very high ; and it is known as the place of 
dangerous and sudden squalls. Lying outside of Windy Tickle is 
Nunakahik (big piece of land), and the islands forming it are said 
to be seven hundred feet high. At the southern extremity of this 
"big piece of land" is Fanny's Harbor. 


Fanny's Harbor is a large bight, and an 

FANNY'S HARBOR, excellent fishing post; it is the farthest 

north settlement of Newfoundland fish- 
ermen. The plucky planter located here is Captain Thomas Sprack- 
lin of Brigus, the well-known master-mariner. The genial captain 
has the stufif of the old Vikings in him ; and he deserves every suc- 
cess in his dangerous avocation. "Fanny's Harbor," says a recent 
writer, "owes its name to a romantic incident which occurred there 
many years ago — a fight for a girl of that name." I am sorry to 
correct "this old romantic legend." The fight occurred ; but the 
harbor received its name from Captain Murphy of King's Cove — 
one of the best informed fishermen of his day in the Old Colony. 
He was master of a schooner named "Fanny," belonging to Mr. 
John Devine, father of the well-known newspaper editors, M. A. 
Devine of the "Trade Review" and P. K. Devine of the "Evening 

Captain Murphy visited the north coast in the early 6o's and he 
named the harbor (then known by some unpronounceable Esqui- 
maux nomenclature) "Fanny's Harbor," after his schooner. It was 
some time later that the fistic duel took place ; and the dramatis 
personcc were Mark W'alker (the peripatetic philosopher of Bona- 
vista Bay) and a man from Carbonear ; the damsel fair whose charms 
precipitated the duel was a lady from my own home-town. Mark. 
Walker has immortalized this bloodless affray in his celebrated 
song: "Fanny's Harbor Bawn," which is still found amongst the 
"Come-all yees," which are sung with such zest and pathos during 
the Christmas gatherings in Northern Newfoundland outports. 

Fanny's Harbor looks as if it had been gouged out of the moun- 
tain side by a huge glacier ; and the sky-line of the hills is beset 
with boulders. The whole effect of these hills is sombre, due to the 
lichen growth which covers them. Here and there one sees little 
patches of yellowish-green moss and other signs of arctic vegetation. 
Snow remains here all the year round ; and in some of the gulches at 
the bottom of the bight it is several feet thick. The sides of the 
water-laved hills which surround the harbor are syenite, of a pink- 
ish-gray color; and they are formidable in their grim, barren aspect. 

At the northeast corner of Nnnaksalnk is a sharp, black headland 
— Cape Harrigan (Tagaulik), and around the point to the south is 


Cape Harrigan Harbor. This has, hke AiUk and Cape Harrison, 
been a familiar name to me since boyhood days ; and some of my 
juvenile letters were addressed to Cape Harrigan, as my father 
usually called there for his mail, if not fishing there, in former years. 
I have been told, but I am afraid the information is not correct, that 
our vessel, "Rusina," v\'as the first fishing vessel to "moor" at Harri- 
gan ; the honor belongs most likely to a Twillingate skipper named 
Downer, to whom also is due the title of discoverer of the fishing 
grounds of Nachvak and Chidley. This is claimed by others, but 
unjustly. Cuiqiie suuni. 

"Cape Harrigan owes its name to an Irishman of this name," says 
a scribe who has written about "Newfoundland cod-haulers !" This 
wiseacre is misinformed — Harrigan is simply a corruption of the 
word hurricane (Northern Newfoundland fishermen pronounce it 
harricane; they acquired the habit from their Devonian forebears). 
It was so named on account of its stormy characteristics ; for here, 
even when stark calm elsewhere, "the win' she blow lak' harricane, 
bimeby she blow some more." 

At the head of the harbor there is a fine sandy beach, one of the 
few to be seen along the coast of Northern Labrador. Cape Harri- 
gan is usually crov^^ded with schooners; but the fleet on this occa- 
sion is out at the Farmyards, a cluster of islands lying away to the 
southeast of the cape. 

Why this archipelago is called Farmyards I 
FARMYARDS, have not been able to ascertain; possibly be- 
cause it has for many years been a rendezvous 
for all sorts of fishermen, from the decked "bully" to the lOO-ton 

The islands are called Nanuktok (the Bears) by the Esquimaux; 
and presumably the white bear was hunted in this neighborhood in 
former days. These islands are dubbed "rough-shop" by fishermen ; 
and from reports they deserve this appellation, as terrific storms have 
visited the islands, even within recent years. If one wishes to real- 
ize the difficulties under which the festive cod is secured, a visit to 
the Farmyards wall give the least observant an object lesson. Here 
you find at anchor dozens of schooners of all shapes and kinds, each 
with one or two splitting tables amidships ; and if there is a "spurt" 



you mav see young women "heading" and occasionally "splitting" 
fish, 'mid surroundings that are not such as womanhood tlemands. 
Happily females are found in fewer numbers than furnierly on board 
fishing schooners ; and hasten the day, when no woman will be found 
working like a pack horse on the deck of a filthy fishing craft. 
There is no nobler womanhood than you find in the Old Colony ; and 
those who heap aspersions upon Newfoundland help (as it is termed 
abroad) know little of the women whom they unblushingly defame. 
It is not long since I had occasiiMi personally to demand a retrac- 
tion of calumny against the womanhood of my native land ; and 
when occasion demands it I shall do so again, perhaps more em- 


The trip from Cape Harrigan to Nain is one of the most inter- 
esting on the northern coast of Labrador ; two routes are available, 
but the outer track is the safer, as it lies outside the shoals. The 
coast here is practically uncharted, except in the southern section ; 
and the mariner must be largely governed by the "rule of thumb." 

The first "port of call" after leaving Cape 

DA\TS INLET. Harrigan is Da7'is Inlet, which lies between 

the mainland and Freestone Island (otherwise 

called Nezvfoundland Island; it is known to the Esquimaux as 

Ukasiksalik). It is about fifteen miles distant from Cape Harrigan, 


and en route SoIo}iW}i's Island is passed, where numbers of schoon- 
ers from Notre Dame and Conception Bays may be seen every sea- 
son. Kuttalik ("Kettle" or "Massacre" Island) is in the vicinity; 
and here you find men "from Green Bay," who are generally "high- 
liners" of the fishing fleet. 

There is a Hudson Bay post at the inlet; but the Newfoundland 
fishermen rarely visit it, as "it is too far in the bay for fish." The 
Post consists of several wdiite houses, similar to those seen at Cart- 
'wright, off which is a wharf, where schooners may load. Furs, seal- 
oil, and salted trout are the chief exports. It is visited annually by 
the Hudson Bay Company's steamer (now the Pelican, purchased 
since my last visit to the coast from the Admiralty), which brings 
the year's supplies and takes away the exports. 

The inlet was discovered and named by the explorer, John Davis, 
in 1586. 

On the western end of Freestone Island there is a prominent land- 
mark, which bears the name of "Post Hill" ; it is 855 feet high. "It 
is not safe for sailing vessels to approach the inlet except at slack 
water, and with a commanding breeze." (Coast Pilot.) 

Lyng to the northeast of Davis Inlet is Spracklin Island, whose 
eponymous first visitor from Newfoundland was Captain Spracklin ; 
it has of course an Esquimaux name as well — Kikkertaksoak ("Big 
Island oft" to sea"). It lies in the outer track to Nain, and is a 
splendid fishing port. It is a remarkable landmark, having two 
singularly shaped peaks, each about five hundred feet high. 

Northward, about sixteen miles from Davis Inlet by the 
ZOAR. inside run, is situated Zoar, a former Moravian mission ; 
it was abandoned a few years ago, for Maccovick, a 
settlement farther south. The Mission of Zoar was estabHshed in 
1830. En route to Zoar there are two islands Tuktuinak ("the is- 
land between the two channels"), and Tunungayaksoak ("the 
wedge," so called from its shape). To the west, some five or six 
miles inland, may be seen the McrryHcld Mountain, a square hill, 
about 1,700 feet high. After leaving Zoar, by the inside route we 
entered the large Archipelago, which leads to Nain — 

"A drear and desolate shore ! 
Where no tree unfolds its leaves 


And never the spring-wind weaves 
Green grass for the hunter's tread : 
A land forsaken and dead 
Where the gliastly ice-bergs go 
And come with the ebb and flow." 

There are two large islands in the Archipelago — Kikkertavak, 
whose summit gleams like molten lead in the sunshine, and Paul's 
or Pozi'nal Island (Tunnulasoak), which is divided by two large 
inlets running from the eastern and northwestern ends. Ford's 
Harbor is located at the eastern end of this island, and opens to the 
eastward. On its northern side is a flat promontory, forming a 
series of terraces ; and the harbor is visible from the westward, over 
the marsh which joins this promontory to the mainland. The shore 
is filled with boulders of large size ; and here is found abundantly 
the lustrous Labradorite. 

Labradorite is a member of the feldspar 
LABRADORITE. group, which occurs next in abundance to 
quartz; its constituents are lime, soda and 
alumina. In color it is gray, blue or greenish ; it is very lustrous, 
translucent and opalescent, with cleavage surfaces often two inches 
in diameter (Packard). It derives its name from Labrador; and 
is akin to leucite, which is found in lavas, such as the lava of 
Vesuvius, and bears some relation to the Oriental verd antique, 
found in Western Greece. 

Labradorite has also been found in the stalactic caves of the 
Sandwich Islands. 

It is found in large masses at Paul's Island ; and some years ago 
a shipment was made to the United States ; with what commercial 
result I have not learned. 

From this island the trip to Nain lies through a sinuous 
NAIX. passage, bounded by high cliflfs of sombre hue. and steep 

precipices of hoary mien. The entrance to the fiord in 
which Nain lies is so contorted that you hardly realize that you are 
sailing on an arm of the sea ; it rather resembles a huge mountain 



lake, from which retreat seems impossible. Astern are immense 
cHtts which shut out the view of the sea; whilst right ahead are 
tumbled mountains bathed in sunshine, where 

"The glorious sun, 
Stays in his course, and plays the alchemist; 
Turning, with splendor of his precious eye 
The barren, hilly steeps to glittering gold." 

The arrival of the mail-steamer at N^ai)i is an important event, 
dulv solemnized by the boom of cannon, which reverberates amongst 
the mountains like a "Cyclopean message of the mighty Thor." 

The steamer makes only two trips a year to these northern 
regions ; and this was the last for the season. 

The "Huskies," garbed in holiday attire, were posted at every 
coign of vantage, gesticulating wildly a welcome to the "big ship." 
x\n ensign floated to the breeze from the top of the Mission ; and 


everybody appeared frenzied with enthusiasm. Before the com- 
mand came to "let go," we were surrounded by boats and kayaks 
laden wth natives, bedecked in gorgeous array, all shouting, as 
only Esquimaux can shout, "Auchenai" (Welcome). They clam- 
bered on deck ; and soon took possession of the ship. They were 
decidedly orderly, but necessarily curious ; and they immediately 
found their way to the "galley," and helped themselves to every- 


thing in sight. All our passengers, the ship's officers who were on 
duty, and some of our crew, went ashore to visit the northern 
metropolis. We were most hospitably entertained by the mission- 
aries, from one of whom I learned further details of the work of 
the mission, the habits and history of the Esquimaux, and valuable 
information about the natural history of the coast. I had previously 
made a voyage with the Rev, Mr. Jannisch, to whom I stand in- 
debted for such information as I could not procure from personal 
observation. The mission buildings at Nain are almost a replica of 
the establishment at Hopedale ; the plant at Nain is, however, more 
extensive, and had, in addition to the buildings found at Hopedale, 
a well-appointed workshop, where the Esquimaux are taught the 
useful arts, under the direction of a skilful foreman. 

The Nain establishment is the oldest on the coast; it was founded 
in 1 77 1. As in the other Esquimaux settlements, the population of 
Nain is decreasing. 

From my missionary friend I learned that this decrease is due 
largely to tuberculosis ; this disease, it is claimed, was introduced by 
"the whites" — another strong argument for the anti-tuberculosis 
league. The diseases such as measles, which are not regarded as 
having an unfavorable prognosis amongst white folk, are usually 
attended with fatal consequences amongst the Esquimaux. The 
fatal results are due, so an excellent authority declares, to the filthy 
habits of these Esquimaux, and the indiscriminate consumption of 
food whose putridity would cause a well-bred representative of the 
canine tribe to turn up his nose with disgust. An Esquimau will 
eat a seal carcass when its malodorous stench suggests the fertilizer 

Whilst at Nain we heard a great deal of music, chin and instru- 
mental, from the Esquimaux ; and they are certainly a very musical 
people. "Music," says a writer, who recently visited the coast, "is 
one of the chief accomplishments of the Esquimaux ; and at all the 
Moravian stations there are brass bands ; and violins are a feature 
of the church service. A good story is told of tlieir welcoming some 
Naskopis with a musical serenade ; the latter were so terrified, that it 
was some time before they could be induced to approach. . . . 
For over an hour these natives sang to us — familar music, "Rock 
of Ages," "Shall We Gather at the River?" interspersed with what 


I take to be secular songs, from the laughter which follows. . . . 
Their voices are most harmonious, and the singing is indeed of a 
superior order, especially the part songs. "Nakomik," we cry, and 
"Ananak" (it's fine), and return the compliment in the only way 
we can with a gramaphone. It is a terrible come down to "The 
Old Apple Tree," and "Everybody Works But Father" ; but the 
Esquimaux seem to enjoy it, and greet the songs and their explana- 
tion by the interpreter with peals of laughter. A song in which a 
man beats his wife seems especially to amuse them. The mission- 
ary told us that wife-beating was still common amongst them. 
(Townsend: "Along the Labrador Coast.") 

When we returned to the ship the Esquimaux were still regaling 
themselves with whatever the stewards felt disposed to give them ; 
and we found a dozen of them dancing to the melodious strains of 
Steward Tilley's fiddle. It was far into the night before they left 
the ship; and then silence reigned supreme. It was too dark to 
venture through "the run," so whilst the officers "turned in," I stood 
on the bridge "at midnight" ; but no clocks were striking the hour ! 
It was such a moment as Longfellow would have revelled in ; and 
perhaps it was of such a night as this that he wrote : — 

"From the cool cisterns of the midnight air 

My spirit drank repose; 

The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, — 

From those deep cisterns flows. 

O holy Night ! from thee I learn to bear 

What man has borne before ! 

Thou layest thy fingers on the lips of Care, 

And they complain no more. 

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer! 

Descend with broad winged flight, 

The welcome, the thrice prayed for, the most fair 

The best-beloved Night !" 
By the pale light of the stars the dim outlines of the majestic 
hills were visible ; and ever and anon single rays of the Aurora 
shot across the heavens, with a meteoric glow. At intervals the 
low melancholy growl of a "husky" dog disturbed the solemn still- 
ness; but it was only momentary; and then all was hushed in 


"Eiglit bells !" It was time to retire. At the first glimmer of 
dawn, 1 was awakened by the clink of the ship's windlass; and be- 
fore I had reached the deck, we were heading out the fiord, bound 
to the "Queen's Lakes." We are now on a section of the coast 
which is little known, except to fishermen, and the "coast pilot" 
warns us : "The coast northward of Nain has only been roughly 
examined ; and the charts are unreliable." 

Dr. Grenfell has done some exploration work on the northern sec- 
tion of the coast ; but we have not seen his maps ; the information 
here produced has been received from fishermen who went north 
before the genial doctor ever saw the coast of Labrador; and I be- 
lieve it is authentic. 

One of the most intelligent fishermen I ever met was the late 
Captain Patrick St. John, of Conception Harbor, Newfoundland; 
he had some "rough sketches" of his fishing trips "down to Chid- 
ley," and many years ago I learned a great deal of the history of 
Northern Labrador from him. 

Skipper Michael Wade, Thomas Ryan, of King's Cove, the 
Chaulkers, Clarkes, Spracklins and Bartletts of Brigus, the Downers 
of Fogo, have been frequenting the north coast for many years; 
they have never published their discoveries ; but their names are 
associated with such places as "Chronicle Island," "Inner Cut- 
throat," "Ryan's Strand," and other localities, where they fished for 


The immense Archipelago, which lies di- 

QUEEN'S LAKES, rectly to the north of Naiii, is known as 
the "Queen's Lakes." The number of is- 
lands constituting the archipelago is unknown ; and many of them 
are unnamed. I have been told that tiie name — "Queen's Lakes," 
was. given to the locality many years ago, by a northern skipper, "in 
honor of Queen Victoria" ; but I have also been told that, like 
"Fanny's Harbor," the name originated with a skipper whose ves- 
sel, the "River Queen," was the first to anchor there, and prosecute 
the fishery on an island outside Aiilatsk'ik (Newark Island). 

Axdatshik, the largest island of the group, lies south of Port 
Manvers, and is a remarkable island ; it has a singularly serrated 
mountain peak known as "Mount Thoresby," said to be nearly three 
thousand feet high. 



It \vas apparently in this neighborhood 

JOHN KNIGHT, that the famous navigator, Master John 

Knight, made a huidfall, in 1606. He sailed 

from Gravesend, April i8th, in the Hopczi'cll: and "after a most 

tedious voyage, the vessel arrived oflf some broken land, in latitude 

56° 25' N.; mucli ice drifting to the southward. 

The wind was fresh and the commander made fast to a piece of 
ice ; but falling calm, he endeavored to row in between the masses. 
This was an unfortunate attempt. The weather became thick and 
foggy, and a furious storm arose on June 14th ; tlicy were (h-iNc-n 

SHIPS OF THE TIME OF CHARLES II. Froiii Proti'sc's Histovy. 

about in the ice. Lost sight of land till the 19th, when it is de- 
scribed as being seen again, rising like eight islands in latitude 
56° 48' N., the variation being 25' W. The vessel was then taken into 
a cove (was this cove what is now known as Port Manversf), and 
made fast by hawsers laid out on shore. On June 26th, Captain 
Knight, his mate, and three hands set out to explore a large island. 
They disappeared, having proba1)ly been killed by natives. 

On the night of the 29th they were attacked by savages, who set 
on them furiously with bows and arrows ; and at one time suc- 
ceeded in obtaining possession of the shallop. However, the eight 
mariners, with a fierce dog, showed a resolute front, and the assail- 
ants, upward of fifty in number, were driven off. The savages are 


represented to have been "very little people, tawnie colored, with 
thin or no beards, and llal-nosed." They are also described as be- 
ing "man-eaters'" ; but for this imputation there appears to be no 
warrant, except in the imagination of the parties on whom the attack- 
was made. 

"On the 4th of July, the vessel was leaking badly ; and shaping 
their course to Newfoundland, with a strong current in their favor, 
they made Fogo, on the 23r(l July. At that place they were most 
hospitably entertained. Having refitted, they left on the 22nd of 
August, full of grateful feelings towards their generous friends; 
and arrived at Dartmouth on the 24th December." (Hudson's Voy- 
ages ap. Packard.) 

It is rather a coincidence that the first Newfoundlander to visit 
the "landfall" of Master Knight should be a "man from Fogo." 
Did the old west-countryman leave his charts with the ancestors of 
some of the Fogo "\^ikings of to-day"? 

West of the northern end of Anlczavik, 
PORT MAN\'FRS. on the maiidand, is a safe and commodious 
harbor — Port Manrct's, whose entrance is 
nearly a mile wide between Medusa Bluff on the south, and TImlia 
Point on the north. These two names suggest the naturalist ; and 
both the Botanist and Zoologist will find much to interest them 
around Port Manvcrs. Fishermen say that all the "squid-squalls" 
(this is the democratic name for the family of Mcdusidae) which 
drift to the south are bor>i around Port Monvcrs. Presumably some 
Botanical explorer found there species of Thalia (Ramoiciilacae). 
There are four species reported by ^^'eiz. in this neighborhood. 

Port Manvcrs is rarely visited by fishermen, for reasons similar to 
those which exclude them from Daz'is Inlet. Overlooking the inlet 
in which Port Ma)i':'ers is located, is the Kiglapeit ("Saw-tooth") 
Range, whose highest part is a broad, round summit, not less than 
200 feet high. Tlie fishermen call this mountain-range Kittclopipes. 

About twenty-six miles to the north of 

SADDLE ISLAND. Port Manvcrs is Saddle Island ("The 

Saddle") ; and the "Stirrups," the former 

of which has an elevation of five Inuidrcd feet. The peculiar shapes 

of the islands suggest their names. 


Westward from these islands, located in a large Bay, 

OKKAK. is Okkak, the largest Esquimaux village in Labrador, 
and an important station of the Moravian Mission- 
aries. Besides the usual mission buildings, there is a small, well- 
organized hospital, subsidized by the Newfoundland Government, 
under the direction of Dr. Hutton, an enthusiastic and capable Eng- 
lish physician. 

At Okkak the temperature is more even than at Xain or Hope- 
dale; and the flora of this section is said to be most luxuriant, 
owing to the fact that the settlement is warmer and more protected 
than the southern missions. "In the hollows of the mountain on the 
south side of the bay there is quite a growth of spruce and fir. A 
large river flows into the head of the bay — "North River" — and 
the natives fish it in spring and summer for trout. The mission ex- 
ports about three hundred barrels of this valuable fish annually. 
Seals are taken at Okkak in the spring and fall ; and last season's 
catch amounted to a thousand." (Report of Governor ^McGregor.) 

The general outlook of this mission is one of thrift, prosperity 
and economic advancement. 

Okkak is ice-bound often as late as the end of June ; but, not- 
withstanding its arctic appearance, warm weather comes with great 
rapidity later; and here you find neatly-kept gardens with a plentiful 
supply of hardy vegetables. 

The northern side of the fiord in which Okkak lies is over- 
shadowed by a long mountain-range, which bears the name of Kaum- 
ajet (Shining ^lountain) ; and it is of very remarkable shape. Its 
eastern summit is known as "The Bishop's Mitre." At the north- 
east entrance to the fiord is a peculiarly shaped island, known as 
Cod Island (Ogualik). "Table Hill," at its southern extremity, is 
a prominent landmark. Several narrow bays indent the eastern side 
of Ogualik, and they are said to afTord good shelter for fishing ves- 

Mugford Tickle lies between this island and the main; it is four 
miles in length ; and something over half a mile wide. The cliffs 
on either side are almost perpendicular, and are composed of syen- 
ite of greyish appearance. . . . Cape Mugford is the northeast 
point of the mainland. Fishermen seem to be under the imi)ression 
that Cape Mugford is the eastern extremity of an island lying to 

320 whJ':re the fishers go. 

the north of Oi^iialik; this is doublk'ss attrihutalile to the imperfect 
knowledge of the locality. 

Mugford 'J icklc is a favorite resort for New- 
MUGFORD. foundland fishermen within recent years; and the 
lionavista Bay second-trip schooners are found 
here in the early days of August. 

Recently this locality has received considerable attention, owning 
to the discovery of supposed vestiges of the ill-fated Andre expedi- 
tion. The discovery was made 1)\- Captain Chalker, of Brigus, Ncw- 
fdimdland, who was fishing in the neighborhood of Mugford dur- 
ing the past season (1908). The captain, during a cruise to the 
inland section of the bay which lies at the northern extremity of 
Mugford Tickle, found a grave, at the head of which was a cross, 
with an inscription: "Andre Anstey, Aug. 1897." Enthusiasts im- 
mediately decided that "this was Andre's grave, and possibly further 
researches would bring to light the remains of his companions, and 
perhaps, some traces of his balloon" ; but fishermen generally scout 
the idea of this "find" being "Andre's grave" ; it is very likely, either 
the last resting place of some Norwegian sailor, or a fisherman from 
Notre Dame I'av, Newfoundland. 

North of Cape Mugford is a fishing resort 
RYAN'S STRAND, known as "Ryan's Strand"; its eponymous 
discoverer w^as Captain Thomas R\an, the 
veteran skipper of King's Cove, Bonavista Bay, who made trips to 
the farthest north more than forty years ago. It seems rather 
singular that the discoveries of these old fishermen seem to be for- 
gotten by modern explorers. They were brave men. these old Bona- 
vista and Conception Liay fishermen; and surely some frail memorial 
is due for their services to the fishing interests of the Old Colony. 
But old \'irgil. the "seer of Mantua," was a prophet; and he fore- 
told the lot of the humble "who build nests for other birds." 

Eight miles north of Mugford on the route to Hebron is a singu- 
larly shaped mountain, near the seaboard, known as "Finger Hill," 
so called from its resemblance to the human index. 


Hebron lies at the northwest entrance of an inlet 

HEBRON, immediately north of a fiord which has an almost 
unpronounceable name — Kongcrtuluksoak, at whose 
mouth, some distance seawards, is the "\\'atchman," a very remark- 
able landmark, which is almost black on its summit, while nearer 
the water-level it is white. 

Hebron Bay is about a mile wide and two and a half miles deep, 
and the settlement — a jMoravian Mission — lies on the northwestern 
side of the bay. 

This mission station was founded in 1834, and has a population of 
183 persons. The population, so far as regards vital statistics, is 
believed to be at present stationary. 

Hebron is not a very desirable locality for a settlement, as neither 
tree nor bush, nor anything to burn, is to be seen in the neighbor- 

At this station there are three missionaries with their wives who 
devote themselves to the religious and educational interests of the 

The natives here live in rude houses composed of timber, stone, 
and earth, which is heaped upon the walls and even on the roofs. 
The inside was not clean according to European ideas, and offered a 
very striking contrast to the housekeeping of the wives of the mis- 

Out of the 183 natives here only some half score of those of read- 
able age are unable to read. Some of them understand a little Eng- 
lish. Some 35 children, from 6 to 12 years of age, attend school. 
(McGregor: Report, p. 21.) 

Hebron, \\\^e all the other northern settlements, is remarkable for 
mosquitoes, which in this section seem more rapacious than in the 
settlements further south. 

From this point may be seen the curiously shaped hills, known as 
"The Domes," about 2,000 feet high, distant about five miles inland 
from Cape Uhnk, which forms the southern entrance point to 
Saeglek (Low Island) Bay. 

This bay, which is called by Newfoundland 

SAEGLEK BAY. fishermen Siglik, has two entrances, one on 

either side of Kikkertaksoak (Big) Island, 

the northern being the broader. Kikkertaksoak is a prominent land- 


fall, being nearly eight Inuulrcd feet high and, like all the land in 
this vicinity, is composed of dark grey syenite. 

Saeglik is a splendid fishing centre ; and immense catches are 
sometimes secured here. 

Three large streams flow into the bay, but only two of them are of 
any commercial importance — the Pangetok, which flows from the 
south, and the Ugjuktoh, which enters the fiord from the west. 
These rivers are reported to be good fishing streams. 

The coast in this section is characterized by numerous trap dykes, 
which extend vertically through the lighter colored rock; it is de- 
cidedly uninviting, as no vegetation is visible, excepting lichen 
growths in the fissures of the rock. 

At the northeast entrance to Saeglik Bay there is a cape, which is 
particularly marked by broad bands of dark rock, and presents an 
extraordinary appearance; it is known as Itigaiyavik (Cold-feet 
Cape). North of this headland shales are met with for the first 
time on the northern coast ; and the bay immediately north of 
Saeglik is known'as Slate Day (Nullatertok) from the formation 
which exists in the vicinity. 

The Moravian station of Kaiiiah is located at the 
RAMAH. bottom of this inlet. This mission was founded in 
1871. Ramah is a desolate place; and the Esqui- 
maux population is small. They live here in very unsubstantial 
igloosaks, which, in winter, are heated with stone lamps and seal 
oil. "The Esquimaux at this station are all supposed to be Chris- 
tians, but naturally they still retain many of the traditional beliefs 
and superstitions of their people. They will not live in a house 
where a death has occurred, believing that the spirit of the departed 
will haunt the place. Not long ago the wife of one of the Esqui- 
maux was taken dangerously ill, and became delirious. Her hus- 
band and neighbors, deciding that she was possessed of an evil 
spirit, tied her down, and left her until finally she died, uncared for 
and alone from cold and lack of food." 

Dr. Grenfell once visited this station and exhibited to the aston- 
ished natives some stereopticon views — photographs that he had 
taken the previous year. It so happened that one of the pictures 
was that of an old woman who had died since the photograph was 


made, and when it appeared upon the screen terror struck the hearts 
of the simple folk. They believed it was her spirit returned to 
earth, and for a long- time afterward imagined that they saw it float- 
ing- about at night, visiting the woman's old haunts. 

The missionary's life is a busy one. From morning until night he 
is kept constantly at work, and in the night his rest is broken by calls 
to minister to the sick. He is the father of his flock, and his people 
never hesitate to call for his help and advice. To him all their 
troubles and disagreements are referred for a wise adjustment. I 
am free to say that previous to meeting them upon their field of 
labor I looked upon them with indifference, if not with disfavor, for 
I had been led to believe that they were accomplishing nothing. 




But now I have seen them, and I know of what incalculable value 
the services are that they are rendering to the poor, benighted peo- 
ple of the coast." (\\'allace: ''The Long Labrador Trail.") 

Near the entrance to Slate Bay is 
ROWSELL'S HARBOR. Rowsell's Harbor, which, a few 

years ago, attracted considerable at- 
tention as a possible mining settlement. 


\Vlll':Ki': 11 IK I'lSllliRS GO. 

It contains a larj^a" deposit of iron pyrites. It was worked for a 
season by Captain John lUirtlett. l)nt owinL,^ to dililicnlties experi- 
enced, it was ahandoned. l'"roni Captain I'.artlett. I have received 
an interesting;- report of the localit\, part of which ha^ heen alreailv 
^i\Hn in a pri-vions chapter. 

KoW SKl.l. S HARBOR .\II .\ li. 

Xaclii'ok Bay lies two miles to the north of Ro-a- 
XAC11\ AK. sell's Harbor: it lia-- an awra^e width of one mile 
as far as the I ludson liay Company's post, situated 
about fifteen miles from the mouth, hut the hay extends about ten 
miles farther up. The land on either side is very high, the cliffs, 
in many places, rising almost perpendicularl}- to a height of one 
thousand feet. There is a large deposit of graphite in this bay ; 
but, owing to its fineness, it is not of great commercial value. 

Near the northern entrance to the hay there is a mountain-range 
called "Mount Razor I5ack," whose highest peak is 3.000 feet high ; 
and in its neighborhood, to the east, is a singular formation known 
as "The White Handkerchief." This island covers about two acres, 
and extending from the sea to some five hundred feet above it. is a 
very conspicuous square of light-colored rock situated at the north- 
eastern corner of the deep circular bight northward of "Razor-back 



Writing of the northern section of the coast Packard says : "The 
highest elevations in Labrador rise from the irregular coast-range 
between latitude 57 degrees and 60 degrees; and judging from the 
views published by Dr. Lieber in the U. S. Coast Survey report 
for i860, and by Professor Bell in the Report of the Canadian 
Geological Survey for 1884, the scenery of this part of the coast is 
wonderfully grand and wild, rivalling that of the coast of Norway, 
and of the coast of Greenland, the mountain being about as high as 
in these regions. According to Professor Bell : "After passing the 
Strait of Belle Isle, the Labrador coast continues high and rugged, 
and although there are interruptions to the general rule, the eleva- 
tion of the land near the coast may be said to increase graduallx in 
going northward, until within seventy statute miles of Cape Chidlev, 

NACHVAK FIORD. Copyright, A. P. Lozv. 

where it has attained a height of about 6,000 feet. Beyond this it 
again diminishes to this cape, where it is 1,500 feet. From what I 
have seen quoted of Labrador, and from what I have been able to 
learn from the Hudson Bay officers and the natives, and also judg- 
ing from the indications afforded by the courses of rivers and 
streams, the highest land of the peninsula lies near the coast-line, all 
along constituting in fact, a regular range of mountains parallel to 
the Atlantic seaboard. In a general way, this range becomes pro- 
gressively narrower from Hamilton Inlet to Cape Chidley. 

The highest mountains in Labrador were previously said by 
Kohlmeister and Knoch to rise from a chain of high mountains ter- 
minating in the lofty peaks near Aulezavik Island and Cape Chidley. 

One of the smallest of these mountains, "Alount Bache," was 
measured by the Eclipse Expedition of the U. S. Coast Survey, and 
found to be 2,150 feet above sea-level. This mountain is a gneiss 



elevation, rounded by glacial action, while lofty wild volcanic-look- 
ing mountains form a water shed in the interior, whose craggy peaks 
have evidently ne\er heen gmund dnw n by land-ice into domes and 
rounded tops. 

While the highest elevations have never heen measured, the height 
of at least three of the lesser mnuntains along this part of the coast 
ai)pears to have heen roughly ascertained. Professor Uell states that 
the mountains on either side of the Nachvak Inlet, about 140 miles 

il JwS^ Ml J 

IN THE MOUNT.MXous REGION. Copyright, Outing Pub. Co. 

south of Cape Chidley, rise to a height of 1,500 to 3,400 feet, but a 
few miles inland, especially on the south side, they appear to attain 
an altitude of 5,000 to 6,000 feet, which would correspond with the 
height of the "Four Peaks," near the coast-line midway between 
Nachvak and Chidley. The mountains around Nachvak, he adds, 
are steep, rough-sided, peaked, and serrated, and have no appear- 
ance of having been glaciated, excepting close to the sea-level. 
These mountains are composed of Laurentian gneiss. Everywhere 
in this vicinity they give evidence of long-continued atmospheric 
decay. The annual precipitation at the present time is not great, 
otherwise small glaciers w'ould probably form ampng these moun- 
tains. Patches of snow, however, remain throughout the summer in 
shaded parts of the slopes. 



About ten miles to the north of the ''White Handkerchief" is a 
bay which has a very democratic name — Louse Bay (Komaktorvik) ; 
and it is a resort for fishermen from Twillingate and Fogo. It is 
said that Captain Downer of Fogo was the first Newfoundlander to 
fish there. From off this point, so fishermen have told me, the scene 
shorewards, especially during a moonlight night, is weird and won- 
derful. The "Four Peaks" are seen in distinct outline and in the 
early morning, when the first rays of the sun shine upon them they 
glisten like silver. The "Peaks" rise to a height of 6,000 feet and 
are distinctlv serrated. 


A small fiord (Pomialaguk) lies to the northwest of the headland 
which forms the northern entrance to Koinaktervik; and immedi- 
ately beyond it is an island which has given a name to a formation 
on the coast — Anlezavik. It forms the northern boundary of the 
inlet which leads to Eclipse Harbor. 

This harbor was named by the American 
ECLIPSE HARBOR. Expedition which visited the locality in 

July, 1880, for the purpose of observing 
the total eclipse of the sun. On the extreme northern end of the 
island is a gneiss mountain, to which the expedition gave the name 
of "Mt. Bache." 



Three large fiords, running in a southwesterly direction penetrate 
the coast-line north of /hdczavik, the largest of which is known as 
Opengarvik, beyond which is the peninsula of Joksut, whose north- 
ern shore is washed by the "Wonderful Ikkerasak." This strait 
separates the Chidlcy Archipelago from the mainland of Labrador. 
At the south end of this strait lies Port Bunvcll, the limit of New- 
foundland jurisdiction (presumably) on Labrador. 


Cape Cliidley, formerly known as Cape Pcnii'ix (another evi- 
dence of French exploration) is tb.c extreme north of the Labrador 
peninsula ; it is supposed by many to be located on the mainland ; 
but it really is the eastern end of Kikkcrtosoak Island, in latitude 
60° 33', longitude 64° 14' W. The cape was named after "the 
Worshipful John Chidley, in the county of Devon Esquire, chief 
promoter and general of an expedition to Chili, in 1539." 

The "Wonderful Ikkerasak" is known also as jMcLellan Strait; 
and recently it has been named "Greiifell Tickle," owing to the ex- 
plorations conducted there by the superintendent of the M. D. S. F. 

Dr. Grenfell informs us that he "has now charted the 'Wonderful 
Ikkerasak,' and sounded it from end to end." This passage can 
not be availed of with safety by sailing vessels, as the "rate of the 


tidal streams in it is estimated to be about seven knots, and the 

eddies and whirlpools are bad except at slack water." (Coast 

Port B unveil, which is also known as 
PORT BURWELL. Killinek, is an excellent harbor, sheltered 
from all but the southwest winds, and dis- 
tant capes break the force of even these. It was discovered by Cap- 
tain Gordon, who erected observation stations there in 1885. In 
1898 ^lessrs. Job Brothers of St. John's, Xewfoundland. erected an 
extensive fishing plant at Port Burwell : but owing presumably to 


the fact that it has been claimed as Canadian territory, the Messrs. 
Job have disposed of their fishing premises to the Moravian Mis- 
sion, which has recently established a station there. About fifty 
Esquimaux families are found at Killinek. Previous to the incom- 
ing of the Moravian missionary the Esquimaux were under the 
spiritual care of Reverend Samuel Stewart, an Anglican minister, 
under the jurisdiction of the Newfoundland Synod. They are still 


"The habits of the Esquimaux in this region are even more 
uncleanly than amongst their southern brethren; and they seem to 
have an abhorrence of water except for drinking purposes ; in con- 
sequence, tile principal diseases from which they suffer arise from 
their filthy habits and the close vitiated atmosphere in their tightly 
closed houses, laden with the odors of decomposing animal food 
and filth. Over one-half of the Esquimaux die of pulmonary 
troubles due to these causes and exposure. 

Many sufifer and die from scurvy, caused by the devitalized blood 
and their excessively fatty food, while remaining sedentary during 
the winter. 

"The Esquimaux of the farthest north differ in their habits of 
living from those further south, along the Atlantic seaboard." 

As a rule monogamy is practised, although many of the better 
hunters have two or more wives. The women are married early, 
generally about fourteen or fifteen years of age; and these early mar- 
riages result in few and weakly children. The marriage ceremony 
is very simple; the C(.nsent of the parents is obtained by presents or 
favor; and if the girl is favorable to the union she goes with her 
husband. When the girl refuses, she is soon coerced by her rela- 

The marriage tie is easily broken ; and it is seldom that a man 
lives with a woman for a number of years. . . Jealousy from 

incompatibility of temper (how like their white brothers and sis- 
ters!) or other causes dissolves the marriage without ceremony. 
("Cruise of the Neptune.") 

What of the future of this interesting people? The answer is 
not a difficult one ; they are gradually diminishing in number, and 
ere long must inevitably become extinct. 

Nansen in "Esquimaux Life," says : "The missionaries, by break- 
ing up their natural life, which the exigencies of the chase on land 
and sea require, make them dependent on imported luxuries and 
necessities, and less able to fight the severe fight in the arctic regions. 
In this way tliey are degenerating in stamina, and slowly succumb- 
ing to the inevitable — disappearing as a race." 




"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, 
There is a rapture on the lonely shore, 

There is a society where none intrudes 
By the deep sea, and music in its roar." 

"Childe Harold." 

The wealth of Labrador lies in its inexhaustible fisheries ; agri- 
culture, at least on the Atlantic seaboard, is impossible ; lumbering 
and mining are precarious ventures : but there is still a valuable asset 
in other attractions with which nature has so lavishly endowed the 
fishers' land. 

It has unrivalled scenery for the tourist, exhilarating air and 
balmy breezes for the invalid, subjects unique for the artist's brush 
and pencil, virgin forests for the hunter, and limpid streams to 
tempt the disciple of the "gentle Izaak." The trip to the "land of 
myriad charms" offers every attraction which entices the traveller to 
the "Land of the Midnight Sun." and it has the additional feature 
of being within reach of even a slender purse. 

Time was (only a decade ago) when a trip to Labrador meant a 
well-filled wallet, supreme discomfort, and ofttimes mishap ; to-day, 
the voyage to the coast is the cheapest trip on earth, comfortable and 
fascinating, and one does not necessarily need an "accident policy." 

Labrador is now within easy reach of the tourist from the United 
States ; and every facility is offered to make the trip at the minimum 
of cost. 

Steamers of the Red Cross Line leave New York every Saturday 
at II A. jM. and land you within five days at St. John's, Newfound- 
land, where passengers for the coast may connect with the Labrador 
steamer. The trip from N^ew York by the Red Cross Line is de- 
lightful. You have a charming daylight sail through Long Island, 
Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, and then the broad expanse of the 
Atlantic for nearly a day, when you are again within sight of land. 
For twelve hours you skirt the historic coast of Nova- Scotia, pass 



under the shadow of picturesque Sainbro and then on to beautifu 
Halifax — the quaint and gay capital of Nova Scotia, with its massiv( 
forts and superb surroundings. Here you remain twenty-four hour: 
and you can enjoy the si)lendid drives and dehghtful scenerv of th( 
Acadian land. 

The trip to the Newfoundland coast from Halifax is made in les; 
than two days; and you are within sight of land for nearly twentv 
four hours. In the early morning of the second day you are withii 
hailing distance of Cape Race, where you get a full view of one o: 
the most important Marconi stations in existence. For five hour; 


you sail over historic seas, and as you move down the shore under 
the shadow of blufY, beetling crags you may see historic Ferryland, 
where the founder of Maryland established his first colony in Amer- 
ica. Further north you see Cape Spear, and beyond is the entrance 
to St. John's Harbor — the oldest town in British North America. 
You enter the harbor through the "narrows" into a magnificent 
basin crowded with shipping — this is St. John's. 

The Ked Cross Line offers the most interesting trip at the most 
moderate cost ; and passengers have the singular privilege of living 
on board whilst the steamer is in port, thus saving hotel expenses. 
Two splendidly equipped steamers are engaged in this service — the 
S. S. Rosalind and the S. S. Florizel (the latest achievement of 
marine architecture). 





Particulars of this trip may be obtained from Bowriny' & Co., 17 
State Street, New York. 

Those who fear mal-de-mcr, and other possible inconveniences of 
the all-sea voyage may proceed to North Sydney by rail, thence by 
the S. S. Bruce (only a six hours' sea-trip) to Port-anx Basques, 
where tlie train is in waiting, which bears you to Bay of Islands. 
Here begins the delightful sea-trip to the fishers' land. 


The all-sea route tjtYers a "i)anorama of shifting loveliness" which 
is unrivalled. The immense fiords of the .\ncient Colony have no 
parallel, even in Norway. Trinity. Bonavista. and Notre Dame Bays 
exhibit a variety of attractions, grander and more entrancing than 
the trip to the North Cape ; these bays are studded with islets, and 
fringed bv coves and harbors hidden beneath hoary cliffs and beet- 
ling crags, more interesting than Trondheim or Hammersfest. 

At every stopj:)ing place you meet fisher folk, quaint in manner, 
primitive in habit, with characteristics, insular if you will, but withal 
manly and gracious. 

After leaving St. John's, the old town which claims the distinc- 



tion of being the oldest possession of "Britain beyond the seas," you 
sail under the shadow of cliffs and headlands, whose every ravine is 
bristling with historic interest ; and as you round Cape Saint Fran- 
cis, Conception Bay offers a splendid vista. En route to Harbor 
Grace (the first stopping place) one gets a close view of Belle 
Island, where the Dominion and Nova Scotia Steel Companies pro- 
cure the iron ore which has been instrumental in making the Syd- 
neys important manufacturing centres ; you pass within hailing dis- 
tance of Carbonear Island, where centuries ago, DeMontigny and 
D'Iberville. fighting the cause of France, were held in check by the 
bravery of Davis and Pynne. Harbor Grace was founded "in Good 
King Charles" golden days" (it was named Carolinopole by Robert 


Hayman, in honor of His Majesty). It was destroyed by De Mon- 
tigny's Canadian troops in 1705; but was soon rebuilt by the hardy 
Devonian settlers, the Davises, the Garlands, and the Pynnes, and 
became in time one of the most progressive towns in the Old Colony. 
Some years ago it possessed one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in 
British America; it was burnt in September, 1891. Since the eaHy 
eighties this once progressive town has been declining; the old 
planters have passed away, and the younger generations have neither 
the stamina nor the valor of their forebears. 



From llarlxir (iraoe to Catalina, the trip is most interesting; set- 
tlements of fisliers are stretched along the coast-line ; and at the 
northeast point of the bay a unicjiie fishing village comes into view — 
Bay dc \'erde ; beyond which lies Ikiccalieu "Tickle." Seaward, 
three miles distant, is the island of I'accalieu (the Baccalao of the 
old navigators), on whose northern summit is 

"A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock, 
Still grasping in liis hand the fire of Jove, 

It does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock. 
lUit hails the mariner with words of love." 


Twenty miles to the north lies Catalina — the "St. Catherine's 
Haven" of the I'reton mariner, who found safety within its north- 
east arm nigh four hundred years ago. It is still the seamen's 
refuge ; and I have sometimes seen two hundred sail of fishermen 
anchor there during the tempestuous gales which too frequently deal 



death and destruction during the late autumn months in the Old 
Colony. From Catalina to Cape Bonavista, you follow Cartier's 
track: and as you pass down the shore the Spillars ("Les Epil- 
iers") and Bird Island Cove ("Isle aux Oiseaux") remind you 
that this territory once knew the Gaul. Cape Bonavista is the land 
of controversy — and presumably the spot where Cabot, in 1497, 
planted the "Standard of Britain's Empire" in the western world. 
Within this bay there is a reminder of Corterears expedition — 
Cottell's Island (now bearing the name of another ancient explorer 
— St. Brendan). 


On the north side of Bonavista Bay lie the Penguin Islands, 
reminiscent of the Great Auk, and the Wadhams, famous in local 
history as the scene of a memorable disaster. Beyond lies Fogo 
Island, where there is still visible the crater of an extinct volcano. 
Fogo Harbor was a famous fishing centre when the southern col- 
onies of the United States were in their babyhood. 

Twillingate, the metropolis of the north, is the next port visited, 
and here one finds many reminders of ancient days in the style and 
equipment of the business-houses, which were founded more than a 



century ago by Devonian merchants. The fisheries of Twillingate 
in bygone days were "richer than the mines of Golconda," and the 
old autocrats who kept the fishermen in a state of perpetual thral- 
dom, retired to England when they had coined the fishermen's toil 
into gold to live "far from the vulgar fisherman," and ruminate their 
commercial sins. Twillingate, even in comparatively modern times, 
felt the leash of fishing-admiral justice; and Prowse (History of 
Nezvfoiindland) says "that a Mr. Pierce informed him that in his 
early years he \iad seen a man trian^^lcd there," seemingly for a 
trivial offence. 


Notre Dame Bay is presumably (dogmatic assertions of certain 
historians to the contrary notwithstanding) the "]\Iarkland" of the 
old Norse navigators ; for here are still found the "wondrous trees" 
which suggested the appellation of "Green Bay"— the name by 
which it is still known to Newfoundland fishermen. 

This bay rivals, outrivals perhaps, the "Thousand Islands" of the 
St. Lawrence in scenery, ^s its islets are more numerous and de- 
cidedly more picturesque than the little green knolls between Og- 
densburg and Kingston. 

"Tilt Cove," on the north side of Notre Dame Bay, is the "last 
call" on the Newfoundland shore ; and it is a very interesting settle- 





ment. Here is found one of the richest copper mines in the world ; it 
has been in operation for three jT;-cnerations ; and the supply of the 
shining metal is seemiuqly inixliaustihlc. Tt is a thriving and pros- 
perous little hamlet. 

Two hours' sail from "'i'ilt ("()\e" and you are witliin sight of 
Cape John, the land of tragedy and treaties. .South of the cape lies 
"Gull Island" — the scene of the gruesome disaster recorded in a 
previous chapter. Cape John has figured in treaties of world-wide 
im])ort : and it is only within recent \ears that I'Vance has relin- 


quished her "rights" on the shore, of which the cape is the southern 
boundary. Xorthward from the cape vou sail constantly in sight of 
the "l-'rench Shore." where still are seen the "rcnims" of the fisher- 
men of Dieppe, Paimpol, and St. Malo, who in former years reaped 
rich harvests from the sea which laves its creeks and harbors. 

Practically every settlement along this shore has a h'rcnch appella- 
tion and at various points you still hear the "mellifluous language of 
the Gaul." 

Beyond the mainland, separated by a "strait of turbulent tides," is 
Belle Isle — the Isola di Dciiioiti of early navig-ators, whose grim, 



forbidding aspect is menacing, even in distant prospect. The sombre- 
hued coast-line of the fishers' land now comes into view ; the outline 
of the "Devil's Dining Table" becomes clear, and ere it melts into the 
horizon, you are in sight of Battle Harbor — and this is Labrador. 

The west coast route is perhaps even more attractive than the 
all-sea trip. The scenery in this section is not unlike the much 
vaunted scenery of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron ; but Parry 
Sound, French River, Killarney, Algoma and Manitoulin are "tame" 
in comparison with the rugged grandeur of Bonne Bay, Ingor- 
nachoix, Point Ferolle and Bay of Islands. I have toured everv 
waterway in Canada, spent many happy months on the north shore 
of Lake Huron ; but. without prejudice, nothing that I have seen in 
the Dominion, from Bras d'or to Lake Superior, is comi)arable with 
"the peerless beauty of the sea-girt Colony." 


Bay of Islands, as its name indicates, is dotted with islets, which 
are located within its three immense arms, one of which is the 
estuary of the Humber River, the second largest waterway in the 
Ancient Colony. 



I will let another writer disclose its beauties : "As I gazed en- 
tranced upon the lovely scene before me, I was able for the first 
time to realize, by the aid of the golden haze veiling, the long slopes 
and tumbling steeps, the grandeur of the sierras which enclosed 
the bay. 

The silence was intensified by the silvery waterfalls dropping from 
crag to crag many hundred feet with an ethereal moti(jn, and yet 
giving forth no echo or sound of their dashing, so distant were thev 
frcun the >hi])." 


Another writer says: "Bay of Islands is a wonderfully beautiful 
bay, extending in three great arms luany miles inland. Its shores are 
high and mountainous. Mount lUomidon rises sheer from the water 
to a height of 2,135 f^^t, its black and scarred precipices towering 
up in rugged beauty. Brooks foam down its sides and break into 
waterfalls over the precipices, floating oti* in the wind in a cloud of 

"Lark Harbor is a lovely oiTshoot from the bay between guardian 
mountains. The shores alxnuid in caves or ovens, with little pebbly 



beaches in between them. One could Hnger all summer along this 
beautiful Newfoundland coast." (Townsend: "Along tJic Labrador 


Twentv-five miles north of this lovely fiord is Bonne Bay, sur- 
[)assing, if it be possible, "the stern rugged grandeur of Bonnie Bay 
of Islands." Again we enlist the services of another, lest the love 
for the old homeland may render us too sympathetic. "A lovelier 
scene cannot be imagined. Great hills in the foreground and be- 
yond, mountains peeping over each other's shoulders, and away up in 
the blue sky the snow still sparkled on the higher storm-lashed 
peaks, which reared their heads far inland, all robed in a beautiful 
transparent atmosphere utterly unknown elsewhere. 




To the north, the hills are bare, rugged, precipitous; but on that 
particular morning the glorious sunshine made them lose half their 
desolate bleakness. We climbed the nearest hill, but only for a short 
distance. 'Clififs towered above us on every hand, over which poured 
cascades of melting snow (the time was early May), thundering in 
the deep chasms below. The hoarse roar of the waterfalls came 
from far and near. The heat was almost unbearable — and this in 
a land known onlv for its fosfs." 


North of Bonne Bay the shore is rugged ; in the background are 
the "Long Range Mountains," which extend nearly the entire length 
of the west coast, with serrated peaks rising to a height of nearly 
two thousand feet. There are few settlements, but several streams 
flow seawards which offer attractive lures to the Waltonian. 

Hawke's Bay is another picturesque fiord, which has been a fav- 
orite haunt for wealthy Americans for some years ; and during the 
summer months palatial yachts are seen riding within this pic- 
turesque haven. 

One of the finest salmon streams in the "Oldest Colony" is found 
at the head of the fiord. 

Ingernachoix, Point Riche and Garganelle are reminiscent of the 
Frenchman ; and occasionally one sees along the coast "jack-o-tars" 
(the name by which deserters from the French Navy are known in 
Newfoundland), who still wear the sabot and sport the Breton 


Point Ferolle is a picturesque headland, and immediately to the 
north are two large inlets, which were formerly important French 
fishing posts — St. Margaret's Bay and Baie Sainte Genevieve. 

Every locality along this shore is suggestive of the industry which 
has given to Newfoundland the appellation of "Codlands" ; and fish- 
ermen of every type are found in the creeks and coves, where it is 
possible to fix a human habitation. Theirs is an arduous and toilsome 
existence ; but they seem happy and content with the harvest, oft- 
times slim, which the sea affords them. 


"Flower's Cove" is the last stopping place ; but the name seems a 
misfit, as the place is a barren, treeless promontory. Whence came 
the name, it has been impossible to ascertain. Possibly some ven- 
turesome fisherman was its eponymous first settler. Inland, some ten 
miles from this settlement, there is an interesting "find" for amateur 
geologists ; as far up in the hillside there is the old sea-margin, now 
fringed with wild vetch, and embedded in the sand are myriads of 
sea-shells presumably the plentiful bivalves known as "mussels" 
{Mytilis edulis). Less than two hours' sail from Flower's Cove 
takes you to Blanc Sablon, across the Straits of Belle Isle, and you 
anchor in the roadstead of the port where Cartier, nearly four cen- 
turies ago, raised the standard of the Flciir-de-lis for His Most 
Christian Majesty, the King of France. 



Here you find vestiges of the ancien regime in the little hamlet of 
Barrachois (a few liundred yards east of Blanc Sabloti) where the 
habitant still wears the Breton costume and addresses you in the 
lan,q;uage of the Gaul. 

Thence you journey eastward and sail over the hi>toric courses of 
the old navigators, who. centuries ago, discovered the weaUli of the 
harvest of the sea. 




Tourists and others who visit Newfoundhmd and Labrador wiU 
be obliged to conform to certain Customs Regulations, and the sub- 
joined Circular is official : 


When Tourists, Anglers and Sportsmen arriving" in the Colony 
bring with them Cameras, Bicycles, Anglers' Outfits, Trouting Gear, 
Fire-arms and Ammunition, Tents, Canoes and Implements, they 
shall be admitted under the following condilions: 

A deposit equal to the duty shall be taken on such articles as 
Cameras, Bicycles, Trouting Poles, Fire-arms, Tents. Canoes and 
tent equipage. A receipt (No. i), according to the form attached, 
shall be given for the deposit, and the particulars of the articles shall 
be noted in the receipt as well as in the marginal cheques. Receipt 
(No. I), if taken at an outport office, shall be mailed at once to the 
Assistant Collector, St. John's ; taken in St. John's, the receipt 
(No. 2) shall be sent to the Landing Surveyor. 

Cpon the departure from the Colony of the Tourist, Angler or 
Sportsman, he may obtain a refund of the deposit by presenting the 
articles at the Port of Exit and having them compared with the 
Receipt. The Examining Officer shall initial on the Receipt the 
result of his examination, and upon its correctness being ascertained 
the refund may be made. 

No groceries, canned goods, wines, spirits, or provisions of any 
kind will be admitted free, and no deposit for a refund may be taken 
upon such articles. 

(Signed) H. W. LeMessurier, 

Assistant Collector. 
Customs House, St. John's, Newfoundland. 




Postal Telegraph Offices are operated throughout the Colony at all 
the principal places. Messages of ten words, not including address 
or signature, are forwarded for Twenty Cents, and two cents for 
each additional word. 

A Government Cable to Canso, Cape Breton, connects with the 
Commercial Cable Company's System to All Parts of the World. 
There is no more efficient service in existence. 

A ten-word message to Canada, exclusive of signature and ad- 
dress, costs from $0.85 to $1.00. A ten-word message to the United 
States, exclusive of signature and address, costs from $1.00 to $1.50. 
To Creat Britain. France, or Cermany, 25 cents per word. 

Telegrams are transmitted by means (jf Wireless Service during 
the summer season from Labrador, s-nd all the \ear round, to steam- 
ers equipped with the wireless apparatus, which are due to pass 
within ihe radius of Ca])c Race and Cape Ray. 

Telegraph message forms may be obtained at all Post Offices in 
Xewfoundland and from the Mail Clerks on Trains and Steamers, 
and if the sender wishes, the message may be left with the P. M. 
to be forwarded by first mail to ilie nearest Telegraj)h Office, free 
of postage. 


A Submarine Cable has been completed between Port anx 
Basques, Newfoundland, and Canso, Nova Scotia, there connecting 
with the Commercial Cable Company's three Cables to the United 
States, with the Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph for all points 
in Canada, and with Five Atlantic Cables to Europe ; connections are 
also made with the West India Cable Co., and others, thereby en- 
abling Cable messages to be exchanged by all Postal Telegraph 
Offices in Nezi'foundland with all parts of the World. 

(Signed) IT. J. B. Woods, 

Postmaster General. 
St. John's, Newfoundland. 



1892 — The hospital vessel Albert sailed from England with Dr. 
Grenfell in charge as the only Mission doctor. He spent 
three months on the coast, holding services and treating 900 
sick folk. 

1893 — Battle Harbor Hospital was presented by friends in St. 
John's, Newfoundland, and opened during the summer under 
a qualified nurse and doctor. The launch Princess May was 
added to enable the ship to do more work. 

1894 — Indian Harbor Hospital was opened for the summer, and for 
the first time Battle Harbor Hospital was kept open in win- 
ter. Friends in Canada began to help the Mission. 

1895 — The sailing hospital was replaced by the steamer Sir Donald, 
the gift of Sir Donald A. Smith, who has lived many years in 
Labrador. Nineteen hundred sick folk received treatment. 
Dr. Roddick, of ]\Iontreal, presented the sailing boat Urclia 
McKiinioii to the [Mission. 

1896 — A small cooperative store was started at Red Bay, in the 
Straits of Belle Isle, to help the settlers to escape the "truck 
system" of trade and the consequent loss of independence and 
thrift. This has since spread to a series of eight with very 
beneficial results to the very poorest. The Sir Donald was 
carried out from her harbor by the winter ice and found by 
the seal hunters far at sea still frozen in. She had to be sold. 

1897 — The steam launch Julia Sheridan, given by a Toronto lady, 
replaced the Sir Donald. A large mission hall was attached 
to Indian Harbor Hospital for the use of the fishermen. Two 
thousand patients were treated. 

1899 — Largely through the munificence of the High Commissioner, 
the steel steam hospital Stratlicona was built at Dartmouth, 
England, and fitted with every available modern appliance. 
At the request of the settlers, a doctor wintered in North 

1900 — The Strathcona steamed out to Labrador. The settlers on 
the Newfoundland shore of the Straits of Belle Isle com- 
menced a hospital at St. Anthony, and the Mission decided to 
adopt that place as a third station. 


1901 — The Ncwfouiulland (Jovenimcnt granted $1,500 to stimulate 
tlic erection of St. Anthony Hospital. A small cooperative 
lumber mill was started to help the settlers of the poorest 
di.strict to get remunerative work in winter, when they often 
faced semi-starvation. The schooner Cooperator was pur- 
chased and rebuilt by the people to assist the cooperative 
store efforts. 

1902 — A new wing was added to lUittle Harbor Hospital, with a 
fine convalescent room and a new operating room. Indian 
I larl)or Hospital was also considerably enlarged. Two thou- 
sand seven Innulrcd anrl seventy-four j^atients received treat- 
ment — no of these Ijcing in-patients in the little hospitals. 
The launcli Julia Shcridau, with one of the medical officers in 
charge, was chartered by the government to suppress an out- 
break of smallpox. 

(903 — Some new outliuildings were added to the Indian Harbor 
Hospital, and a mortuary and store were built at Hattle Har- 
bor Hospital. The third and fourth cooperative stores were 
started at West St. Modiste and at Flowers Cove to encour- 
age cash dealing and thrift. I'he !''rliiccss May went out of 
commission and was sold. 

1904 — A new liouse for the doctor was built at Battle Harbor. The 
steam launch Julia Shrridaii had to be sold. She was re- 
placed by a 10 H. P. kerosene launch called by the same 
name. An orjihanage was built at St. Anthony to accommo- 
date fifteen children. A l)uilding was also added for teach- 
ing looiu work and general car])entering and lathe work. 

1905 — A doctor was aiii)ointed at the recjuest of the people on the 
Canadian Labrador, with headtpiarters at Harrington, near 
Cape W'liittle. on the north side of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 
The first schooners were built at the lumber mill, which is 
now flourishing and heljiing to maintain one hundred odd 
families. Two consulting surgeons from I'oston I'^niversities 
visited us during the summer to help in the work. Through 
the generosity of i\Ir. Andrew Carnegie, between thirty and 
fortv small jxirtable libraries were distributed along the coast, 
containing from 50 to lOO books in each. 


1906 — Through the help of friends in Montreal and Toronto a new 
hospital and doctor's house were built at Harrington, and a 
second kerosene launch, called the Northern Messenger, was 
given for the work there. New dog sledges and teams were 
also given by the ^Montreal Weekly Witness. Some new 
buildings were erected at St. Anthony, including some small 
farm outbuildings, and some land was taken up from the 
New^foundland Government with a view to trying to intro- 
tluce cattle. 

[906-07 — In connection with the cooperative store at Flowers Cove, 
an industry of making sealskin boots has sprung up. and 
1.500 pairs of boots were exported this summer. Around 
these small industries it is possible to aggregate women and 
children in the winter for the purpose of better education. 
A new wharf, stores for clothing and coal, and a large mis- 
sion room are being added to Battle Harbor. Seven volun- 
teers have joined the staff : — the lady in charge of the orphan- 
age, an electrical engineer in charge of the general mechanical 
work, a teacher for night school and library work. The 
fourth hospital was kept open all last summer by a volun- 
teer doctor from Harvard University and volunteer nurses 
from England. A teacher of arts and crafts will be in charge 
of the industrial work at St. Anthony this year. The steam 
launch Daryl was given by the Dutch Reform Union of New 
York City. 

1907-08 — The experiment of placing a trained nurse in fishing, set- 
tlements farthest from the little hospital has taken definite 
form in the buildmg of a house at Forteau on the southern 
coast of Labrador, in which a nurse is permanently situated. 
The people of the place gave the labor freely, and the money 
for the material was the gift of a veteran of the Civil War, 
who, after being wounded at Gettysburg, journeyed on a 
fishing schooner to Labrador in quest of health, and in grati- 
tude for great kindness shown him wished to make some 
return to the people of the coast. A second station is to be 
opened at Flowers Cove, at which place the people have 
guaranteed $200 a year, being a poll tax of $1 per annum on 
every family over that long district. 


No less than four more small cooperative stores have 
sprung into existence, showing the belief of the people in the 
advantages they confer in helping to give independence and a 
sufficient living. 

An electric light plant has been installed at St. Anthony 
largely through the kindness of the Trustees of Pratt Insti- 
tute of Brooklyn. Not only has the light been introduced 
into all of the Mission buildings, but large lights have been 
placed at the wharf. Pratt Institute also sent up one of their 
graduates to install the plant. Already it has proved of 
inestimable value. 

Thnjugh the generosity of the same institution, two Labra- 
dor students have commenced the study of engineering, that 
they may on their return afiford their invaluable aid to com- 
munal life on the coast. 

His Excellency, the Governor of Newfoundland, Sir Wil- 
liam MacGregor, a highly skilled geodetic surveyor, has spent 
part of the summer with Dr. Grenfell on the Strathcona, im- 
proving the new chart of all the northern Labrador coast. 
This, it is hoped, will be issued shortly, because it is so badly 
needed by the many fishing craft that visit those waters. 

A friend from Washington. Mrs. W. II. Buckingham, pre- 
sented the Mission with a new launch, the Pomiuk. which 
was safely brought down from L\ nn to Labrador by a crew of 
volunteer students from Yale. 

The Orphanage is now over-full with twenty children, 
some of whom are already learning trades. It will shortly 
be doubled in size owing to the generosity of a volunteer 
worker of Williams College, who was much impressed on his 
visit by the need of more room. 

The Industrial Work has made considerable progress, and 
some $200 worth of the products have been sold and the 
money returned to the work to further develop it. There 
are several looms at work regularly, and the new furnace for 
baking pottery is in working order. The expert from Provi- 
dence who has started us at work has prolonged her visit 
and already speaks of joining the force again next summer. 

The reindeer, still under the charge of the same volunteei 


worker who has had charge of them from the beginning, 
have done magnificently. 50 were sold to help defray the 
expense of bringing them over, leaving 250 of the original 
herd. These, after only nine months, have become 403 
splendid animals, deducting all losses. The fawns are already 
as large as their mothers, and the condition of the animals is 
simply not to be compared with the miserable state of the 
herd when they landed in January after their long voyage. 
The Lapps, who brought them over, are still with us, and the 
Newfoundland government has contributed two apprentices 
from Labrador to learn the business. 

The milk the animals give has proved to be very rich, and 
the cheeses will be very useful for winter. The problem a-s 
to their future is practically solved, but it will be some time 
before the milk and butter distribution will be possible at dis- 
tances, and before it will be wise to kill the animals for their 
valuable meat and hides. Next year the experiment will be 
made of trapping the wild caribou and uniting them with the 

A'olunteer teachers did excellent work this year at some of 
the small schools, and a volunteer from the experimental 
farm at St. Anne's did splendid work, showing us that we 
can grow many vegetables we have sore need of. Next year 
we shall warmly welcome a number of volunteers to help us 
develop more land tracts, and to show the people the possibili- 
ties of the soil. 

The new nurses sent us by Baltimore, a Washington friend, 
and others, have been doing invaluable work. We have, how- 
ever, been very short of help along that line and could easily 
have found work for many more. Volunteer students from 
Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Williams, Yale, and Bowdoin, have 
had labors imposed on them they little anticipated when they 
set out for the summer. But all have done excellent, neces- 
sary work, that without them would have been impossible. 

The surgical and medical clinics at the hospitals have so 
largely increased, with the growing confidence of the people 
in modern science, that some money earned by Dr. Grenfell's 
hiring out the Strathcona for a month to the Newfoundland 


government will be spent in enlarging St. Anthony hospital. 
This hospital has been densely overcrowded all summer and 
the facilities for up-to-date treatment have been quite inadc- 
(juate to the wishes of those in charge. A small special addi- 
tion for the treatment of the many unfortunate tubercular 
patients that seek aid is al)M)lulcly essential. The success 
attained in curing tubercular patients in the open air and 
saving suffering from that cause has been phenomenal. (W. 
T. Grenfell.) 
























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In spite of latitude and Arctic current, Labrador is the home of 
much that is dehcious in the berry world. Even the outlying islands 
furnish the curlewberry and bakeapple in profusion ; and upon the 
mainland, in the proper month, September, a veritable feast awaits 
one. Three varieties of blueberries, blacl<l)erries, red currants, with 
a pungent aromatic flavor unequalled by the cultivated varieties ; 
marshberries, raspberries, tiny white capillaire teaberries, with a 
flavor like some rare perfume and having just a faint suggestion 
of wintergreen ; squashberries, pearberries, and curlewberries, the 
latter not so grateful as the others, but a prime favorite with the 
Esquimaux ; and lately, the typical Labrador fruit which, excepting 
a few scattering plants in Canada and Newfoundland, is found, I 
believe, nowhere outside of the peninsula — the gorgeous bakeapple. 
These cover the entire coast from the St. Lawrence to Ungava. 
Their beautiful geranium-like leaves struggle with the reindeer moss 
upon the islands, carpet alike the low valleys and the highest hill- 
tops, and even peep from everlasting snow. Only one berry grows 
upon each plant, but this one makes a most delicious mouthful. It 
is the size and form of a large dewberry, but the color is a bright 
crimson when half ripe and a golden yellow at maturity. Its taste 
is sweetly acid, it is exceedingly juicy, and so delicate that it might 
be thought impossible to preserve it. Yet the natives do preserve it 
with all its freshness, and original flavor throughout the entire win- 
ter, merely by covering it with fresh water and heading it up in 
casks or barrels. 



The 3rd day of May, 1769. 

Whereas there was this day read at the Board a Report from the 
Right Honorable the Lords of the Committee of Council for Planta- 
tion affairs ; dated the 20th of last month in the words following. 
viz. : 


"Your Majesty having been pleased by your Order in Council of 
the 20th of I'Y'bruary last to refer unto this Committee a Representa- 
tion from the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations set- 
ting forth that they have had under their consideration a memorial 
presented by the Earl of Hillsborough, one of Your Majesty's Prin- 
cipal Secretarys of State on behalf of the Society of Unitas Fratrum, 
stating that the said Society arc desirous of prosecuting their in- 
tention of establishing a Mission on the Western Coast of Labrador 
for the purpose of civilizing and instructing the savages called Esqui- 
maux, inhabiting that Coast ; in which undertaking the memorial- 
ists represent that they have already taken some steps in conse- 
quence of encouragement received from the Board in 1765; but that 
there is a necessity of having permission to occupy such a quantity 
of land on that Continent as may induce the Esquimaux to settle 
around the Missionaries ; that for this purpose they have pitched 
upon Esquimaux Bay, and praying for a grant on that spot of one 
hundred thousand acres of land, or about twelve miles square, with 
liberty in common of other British subjects of fishing and trading 
on that Coast. Submitting at the same time the expediency of the 
Government erecting a block-house near the said intended settle- 
ment to protect the Esquimaux and their Missionaries from vio- 
lences and encroachments of any disorderly people who might hap- 
pen to come into the Bay. 

Whereupon the said Lords Commissioners represent that in the 
year 1765 the Society above mentioned, with the approbation of the 
Government, deputed four of their brethren to explore the Coast of 
Labrador, with a view to propagate the Gospel among the savage 
inhabitants. Those persons, though unavoidably prevented from 
completing their design in the full extent, did, however, by the 
assistance and under the direction of Mr. Palliser, your Majesty's 
Governor in Newfoundland, make some progress in the laudable 
work of their Mission, by establishing an intercourse and concluding 
a treaty with those savages. Whereupon in the year following, upon 
the favorable report made to your Majesty's said Governor, touch- 
ing the conduct and behavior of their Missionaries, and in conse- 
quence of a petition of the said Society, the Board of Trade did in 
an humble representation to your Majesty, dated March 27th, 1766, 


submit whether it might not be advisable to allow this Society to 
occupy such a district of land, not exceeding one hundred thousand 
acres, upon the Coast of Labrador as they should think best situ- 
ated for the purposes of their Mission, from the opinion of their 
predecessors in office they see no reason to dissent, and as they do 
in like manner with them think it advisable to encourage and pro- 
mote a settlement of this sort, as well from the pious and laudable 
object of its institution, as from the public and commercial advan- 
tage to be derived from it; they beg leave to humbly recommend to 
your Majesty that the Society, or any persons deputed by the So- 
ciety for that purpose, may be allowed by an Order of your Majesty 
in Council to occupy and possess, during your Majesty's pleasure, 
one hundred thousand acres of land in Esquimaux Bay, on the 
Coast of Labrador, as they shall find most suitable to their purpose; 
and that your Majesty's Governor of Newfoundland may be directed 
by the said Order to give them all reasonable assistance and support 
in forming such establishment, and by a proclamation to be published 
in your Majesty's name signifying that this establishment is formed 
under your Majesty's express authority and direction, to warn all 
persons from molesting and distributing the said settlers ; and in 
case it shall appear to him to be necessary for their v^relfare and 
security that one or more of the principal Missionaries should be 
vested with the authority of Justice of the Peace, that he should in 
that case issue the proper commission for that purpose, conformable 
to the powers delegated to him by your Majesty's commission under 
the Great Seal. With respect to the matter of erecting a block- 
house near the said intended settlement, for the defence of the Esqui- 
maux and the jMissionaries, and for the general protection of British 
trade and fishery, they do not think themselves justified in advising 
your Alajesty to comply with a request that may probably be at- 
tended with considerable public expense, and for which there does 
not appear to be any immediate necessity ; but as they think it highly 
proper that reasonable and necessary measures should be taken for 
the security of those who shall establish themselves on this savage 
and uncivilized coast, they would humbly recommend your Majesty 
to direct that the persons who shall engage in this settlement shall be 
furnished, out of your Majesty's stores, with fifty muskets and a 


proportional quantity of ammunition, which they consider may be 
sufficient for their personal security and defence. 

The Lords of Committee, in obedience to your Majesty's said 
Order, this day took into their consideration the said representation, 
and do humbly report to your Majesty that they agree in opinion 
with what is above proposed by the Lords Commissioners for Trade 
and Plantations. 


Acadians. 51. 
Adventurers, 53. 
Ailik, 297, 298. 
American Settlement?, 78. 
Antelope Tickle, 228. 
Appendix I, 347. 
Appendix II, 348. 
Appendix III, 349-354- 
Appendix IV, 355-362. 
Appendix V, 363. 
Appendix VI, 364, 366. 
Area, 2. 

Arnaud, Pere, 102. 
A "Room," 63. 68. 
Ash. Capt., 292-293. 
Assizes Harbor, 234. 
Andiibon, 203. 

Bache, Mount, 325. 
Bakeapple. 200. 
Banks, 58. 
Barratry Proceedings, 141. 

Battle Harbor, 238, 239, 245, 246. 
Bay of Islands, 341-342. 

Bear, 186. 

Beaver, 193. 

Belle Island, ix, 40, 51. 213, 335, 340. 

Belles Amours, 215. 

Berries, 200-202. 

Bilberries, 201. 

Blanc Sablon, x, 19, 218, 346. 

Bluff Cape, 255. 

Bonavista, Cape, vii. 

Bonne Baj', 343. 

Bonne Esperance, 213. 

Boulders, 147. 

Boundaries, 2-3. 

Bowring & Co., 234. 

Bradore, 49, 50. 

Bradore Hills, 147. 

Brest. 48. 

Brig Harbor, 281. 

Bultows, 67. 

Burwell. Port. 329. 

Cable Connection, 348. 

Cabot, John, 12. 

Cabot, Sebastian, 12. 

Caches, 50. 

Cape Harrigan Harbor. 309. 

Caplin, 282-283. 

Carbonear Island, 335. 

Caribou, 129, 134, 188-190. 

Caribou Island, 23. 

Carrol Cove, 225. 

Cartier. Jacques, 16, 17, 38, 40. 

Cartwright, 47-48, 266, 267. 

Caste, 72. 

Catalina, 336. 

Catholic Church, 103. 

Charles, Cape, 232. 

Chateau, 19, 57. 

Chateau Bay, 227. 

Chidley, Cape, 328. 

Chimnej' Tickle. 231. 

Church of England. 105-108. 

Climate, 6. 

Coastal Company, The, 243. 

Codfish Aristocracy, 71. 

Cod Fishery, 29, 59. 

Codlands, 55. 

Colons, 40. 

Companies, "jj. 

Conclusion, 331. 

Cooperative Stores, 120. 

Cortereal, 13. 

Curlew, 209. 

Customs Circular, 347. 

Cut-Throat, 279. 

Davis, 372. 
Davis Inlet, 310, 311. 
Dead Islands, 254. 
Delaney, Capt.. 243. 
Devil's Dining Table, 229. 
Dictionary : Indian-French, 36. 
Dieppois, The, 15. 
Discoveries, Later, 12. 
Dogs, 273, 274. 
Domino Run. 261. 
Dovekie. 206. 
Duck, 204. 

Earliest Records, 9. 
Early Traders, 46. 


Eclipse Harbor, it."]. 

Eider, 204. 

Emily Harbor, 283. 

Emmanuel, King, 14. 

Esquimaux, 20-22, 2i, 27, 28, 29, 330. 

Exploits, vii. 

Explorers, The First, 7. 

Export Statistics, 355. 361. 

Fanaticism, 229. 
Fanny's Harbor, 308. 
Farmyards, 309. 
Farthest North, 307. 
Fiords and Banks, 3. 
Fisherman's Letters, 219. 
Floaters and Stationers, 62, 63, 65, 

"Flower's Cove," 345. 
Fogo Harbor, 357. 
Forests, 156, 158. 
Forest Fires, 158. 
Fort Pitt, 44. 
I'Ortcau, 221. 
1-V>ur Peaks, The, 2>27. 
I'rancis Flarbor, 251, 252. 
I'Vcighters, 65. 

French Settlements, Early, 46, 59. 
Funks, The, 17. 

Geology, 143, 147. 
George's Island, 270. 
Glaciation, 148. 

Government Medical Officer, 119. 
Grady. 264. 
Grampus, 176. 
(iranby Island, 252. 
Great Auk, 210. 

Greenfell, Dr., 1 19-120, 124, 125. 
Greenfish Catchers, 67. 
Greenly Island, 216. 
Greville's Fort, 229. 
Griffin's Harbor, 263. 
Grouse, 207. 
Gulls. 207. 

Gull Island, viii. 340. 
Hagdons, 207. 
Halifax, 332. 
Hamilton Inlet, 272. 27^. 
Harbor Grace, 335. 
Harrison, Cape. 288, 289. 
Handling the Fish, 68. 
Hawke's Bay, 344. 
Hawke's Harbor, 357. 
Hebron, 321. 

Henley, 228. 
Herring Fishery, 58. 
Holton, 284. 
Horse Harbor, 284. 
Hudson Bay Co., 45, 85. 
Huntington Island, 268. 


Icebergs, 292, 294. 
Icelandic "Sagas," 8. 
Ice I'ickle, 276. 
Igloo, 276. 
Igloosoaks, 26. 
Igloowick, 26. 
Independent, 268. 
Indian-French Dictionary, 36. 
Indian Harbor, 276, 277. 
Indian Tickle, 263. 
Interior, 4. 

Jersey Traders, 52. 
Jesuits, Z2>, 46. 
Judiciary, 234-237. 
Junius, 41. 
Jurisdiction, 341. 


Kayak, 24, 29. 
Kenamou River, 163. 
"King of the Bears," 280. 
Knight, John, 317, 318. 
Komatik, 25. 

"Labrador," 13. 
Labradorite, 312. 
Lacase, Pere, 102. 
Lacombe, Father, 34, 35, 36. 
Lakes, 5. 
Landscape, 5. 
L'.-\nse Au Diable. 224. 
L'Anse A Loup, 223. 
L'Anse Eclair, 221. 
Latitude, i. 
Leomine, Pere, 103. 
Lichens, 197, 199. 
Long Island, 266. 
Long Point, 217. 
Long Tickle, 294. 
Louse Bay, 327. 
Lusi. Joe, 290, 291. 
Luxuries of Labrador. 363. 
Lynx, 194. 

.\Iaccovick, 296, 297. 
Mackerel, 58. 
Mail Service, 247. 


Makushan-liidian Banquet, ^,7. 
Markland, y, n'i. 
Mealy Mountains, 2bg. 
Merchant, 1 he, 70. 
Methodist Church, 108. 
Minerals, Economic, 153, 154. 
M. D. S. f., 349- 
Mission Fields, 92-102, 103. 
Montagnais, 30-33. 
Moraines, 151. 
Moravian Alissions, 364. 
Mountains, 147, i2b. 
Moravian Settlements, 88. 
Mugford, 320. 

Mullock, Kt. Rev. T. J., 244. 
Munden, Capt., 270. 
Murray's Harbor, 249, 250. 
Muskrat, 195. 

Nain, 3i^-3i5- 
Nachvak, 324. 
Narwhal, I'he, 58, 174. 
Naskopis, 31, 34, 35, 3^^, i7- 
New Knglanders, 44. 
New^ France, 47. 
New Type, A, 74. 
Nisbet's Harbor, 295. 

Norman, Capt. Nathan, 271. 

North. Cape, 265. 

Northwest River, 162. 

Notre Dame Bay, 338. 

Novvlan's Harbor, 254. 

Okkak, 319. 

Old Times. 73. 

Old Merchants, 71. 

Ornamental Stones, 155. 

Oomiak, 24. 


Packs Harbor, 268-269. 

Palliser, Sir Hugh, 43, 59. 

Paris. Treaty of, 3, 41. 

Partridge Berry, 202. 

Pelterie, 41. 

Pinware, 224. 

Pitts Arm, 228. 

Plover, 207. 

Port Manvers, 318. 

Ptarmigan, 209. 

Puffin, 206. 

Punch Bowl, 257-258. 


Queen's Lakes, 316. 
Race, Cape, 332. 
Ragged Islands, 289, 290. 

Raised Beaches, 152. 
Ramah, 322-323. 
Recollcts, 2)2. 
Red Bay, 225. 
Red Cross Line, 331, 2i?>2. 
Reindeer, 126-128. 
Rigolette, 273. 275. 
Rivers and Streams. 159, 161. 
Roberval, 40. 
Roger's Harbor, 291. 
Rowsell's Harbor, 323. 
Royal Mission to Deep Sec Fisher- 
men, 123. 
Ryan's Strand, 320. 


Sable, 193. 
Saddle Island, 318. 
Sacglik, 322. 

Saeglek Bay, 321. 

Salmon Bay, 214. 

Seal Fishery, 29, 56, 57, 59, 176-185. 

Scmedit, 225. 

St. Brendan, 10, 11. 

Sainte-Germaine-en Saye, Treaty of, 

St. John's, 355. 
Salmon Fishing, 57. 
Scandinavian Remains at Newport, 


Settling Up, 74. 
Sheldrake, 206. 
Ship Harbor Head, 253. 
Sloop Cove, 285. 
Small Post Office, A, 248. 
Smoky Tickle, 279. 
Smuggling. 44, 49. 
Snug Harbor, 255, 256. 
Spear Harbor. 248. 
Spotted Island. 261. 
Square Island Harbor. 253. 
Stones Gulch. 218. 
Strange Business, 73. 
Strawberry, 295. 
Sugar Loaf, 253. 
Syrian, The, 82. 


Telegraph Service, 348. 
Tepik, 76. 
"Tickle," i. 
"Tilt Cove," 338. 
Tinker, 207. 
Traders. 51, 77, 78. 
Trading, 76. 
Traps, 67. 
Trinity, vii. 


Turnavik, 298. 
Turr, 206. 
Twillingatc, 337. 


Utrecht, Treaty of, 49. 

Venison Island, 257. 
Versailles, Treaty of, 44. 
X'ineland, 10. 


Walrus, 58. 174. 

Webec, 286, 287. 

Webec Harbor, 288. 

Webber's Cove, 259, 260. 

Wesley, John, 92. 

Whale Fishery, 55, 165, 173. 

White Bear Islands, 280. 

Winsor, 299. 

Windy Tickle, 307. 

Wolverine, 191. 

Wrecks and Wreckers, 134. 

Znar, 311.